All Nedbank Cup teams are favourites – Gaxa

2013-03-15 13:16

No team should be tagged as favourites to win the Nedbank Cup, insists Kaizer Chiefs defender Siboniso Gaxa, ahead of his side’s last-16 clash with National First Division outfit Polokwane City in Durban tomorrow.

Chiefs are well clear at the top of the Absa Premiership table, but Gaxa would not admit that Amakhosi were favourites for the knockout clash.

“All the teams left are favourites,” Gaxa said.

“We are all favourites, no one is less and no one is big. Whoever the team is that wins their game – who goes forward – then they become the favourite.”

Chiefs hold a five-point Premiership cushion over second-placed Orlando Pirates, who will be tied up in an African Champions League fixture against Zambian side Zanaco in Lusaka tomorrow, after the Buccaneers were knocked out in the first round of the cup competition, and Amakhosi will hope to carry momentum from their league campaign.

Gaxa, however, warned the Soweto giants could not afford to be complacent.

“We still have three games before the final, and you can’t talk about the final with three games to play,” he said.

“Right now, we’re more focused on the last 16. The next game is the most important game for us, not the final.”

Gaxa admitted they knew little of their opponents as they went in search of a place in the quarterfinals.

“Honestly, I don’t know Polokwane. I don’t want to lie.

“If you do what the coach has told you to do, and what he tells you to do on the day, you don’t exactly need to know the opponent.

“You have to know what you have to do – and do it right.”

The 28-year-old said the Soweto outfit would need to up their game if they hoped to lift the trophy.

“We just need to improve on the mistakes that we’ve made this season.

“So far things have gone well for us and we’re very fortunate we have an amazing coach and assistant coach.

“We’ve got a good chance of doing great things the next two or three months.”

Regardless of the line-up, Chiefs put out on the day, with one eye on the closing stages of the league campaign, Gaxa was confident they would be able to progress further in the cup competition.

“The most important thing at Chiefs is that we don’t have a certain 11, and whoever plays on Saturday is our best. We are all special.

“A game is won on the day. A team that plays well on the day wins the match.”

With Pirates crashing out in a shock first-round defeat to amateur side Maluti FC, Chiefs were wary of falling prey to a similar fate, and were ready for battle.

“What happened to Pirates has nothing to do with Chiefs,” Gaxa said.

“What we want to do is win on Saturday. We won’t take them (Polokwane) for granted.”

Nedbank Cup weekend fixtures:

Friday: Mamelodi Sundowns v Golden Arrows (Loftus Versfeld)

Saturday: Jomo Cosmos v United FC (Makhulong Stadium), Free State Stars v Bloem Celtic (Charles Mopeli Stadium), Kaizer Chiefs v Polokwane City (Moses Mabhida Stadium)

Sunday: African Warriors v Maluti FET College (Charles Mopeli Stadium), Tembu Royals v Maritzburg United (Mthatha Stadium)

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