Kaitano Tembo has two former Orlando Pirates players in Thamsanqa Gabuza and Kudakwashe Mahachi in his team, but he says he has not spoken to either of them to share intelligence on Milutin Sredojevic’s side as to how they normally prepare for tough opposition like SuperSport United.
Mahachi says he did not even bother giving Tembo some insight on his former employers because he is confident his Zimbabwean compatriot has everything under control as the Buccaneers travel to Mbombela to face Matsatsantsa tonight.
“We all know they play good football but there is nothing to worry about. Our coach knows Pirates are a good side and he knows that if he is playing against them he needs to make sure we focus as players,” said Mahachi.
The Buccaneers will play their third game in the space of 12 days while United had to wait as many days before their next match. In this, Tembo feels Pirates might have a slight upper hand.
“I think they will be ahead of us in terms of match fitness because we have played one and we had to wait for about 11 days to play the next. Unfortunately we could not get to play a friendly game, but we played among ourselves to try and maintain our fitness levels and I think we are ready for Pirates,” said the SuperSport coach.
While match fitness might be a concern, Tembo is not worried about his players’ levels of motivation as they are always eager to go up against the elite sides in the division.
“These are games where you don’t really need to motivate the players, because these are the fixtures they look forward to every season.”
The start of the Absa Premiership is a steep one for United who have just played Mamelodi Sundowns. Tomorrow it is Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs are after that. However, Tembo insists all are equally as important.
“Wins against the three big teams equals 18 points. Does that win you the league? Does that mean you are safe? Not quite, so all the points are important, it does not matter where you get the points from, we try and focus on every game and our focus now is three points against Pirates.”