Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila (TTM) co-coach Mpho Maleka claims they have nothing to lose when they face the high flying Mamelodi Sundowns in the Nedbank Cup semi-finals at Loftus Stadium on Sunday.
Maleka insists they are in it to win it despite crashing down to Bafana Ba Style 3-1 in a league encounter a fortnight ago.
Masandawana booked their semi-final spot after hammering Orlando Pirates 4-1 in the quarter-finals of this prestigious competition at home on Thursday night.
“We just played them two weeks ago in a league match. Their build-up is very slow and they use more of the wing-play. They are more on the ball and use it wisely. They are well-organised, you have to deny them time and space on the ball, and press them higher up the pitch,” said Maleka in an interview with supersport.com.
“You can’t go to a Nedbank Cup semifinal if you are not hungry to win it. For us to be in the semi-final, it is now our plan to play and win the final. We want to represent the province [Limpopo] well.
“The team is ready to go all the way to the final and win it. We appreciate the job done by the players. We are using this good platform of doing well in the cup tournament to do well in the league.”
The 42-year-old mentor has commended the role played by the club’s fitness trainer for a job well done with Tokelo Rantie’s improved fitness.
“We can only praise the role played by our fitness trainer with Tokelo. He [Rantie] wanted to do more and for us to give him a run to start when we went head-to-head with TS Galaxy last Saturday. He gave his best and we appreciate his effort. We are happy he continues to improve and he will make sure he puts more effort in the next match for him to be part of the winning team. If he does not score, he is the kind of player that can create one or two goals. We want to give him the courage to do more come the next match,” he explains.
Maleka also reflected on the readiness of their newly-signed midfielder George Lebese.
“George is expected to be more involved in competitive matches in a week or two. But so far, he is working with the fitness trainer to gain his match fitness. But mentally he is ready and we can see where he can add value on the attacking part of the game-plan,” says the Limpopo-born football manager.
He went on to say that the Nedbank Cup is not a distraction from their league ambitions.
“The club is focusing on both. This is the new dawn since the new management took over. We have been doing things better than before. If chances allow us to go all the way to the finals, therefore, we can’t deny ourselves that. We must appreciate the moment and go all out and do our best,” concludes the Vhadau Vha Damani tactician.
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By FARPost Reporter