Komphela optimistic

2014-05-01 00:00

MARITZBURG United’s squad is full of optimism heading into Saturday night’s Nedbank Cup semi-final against Soweto giants Orlando Pirates at Harry Gwala Stadium. There is no fear among them and an appreciation of the opportunity to collect the club’s first ever major trophy, but there is also a deep respect for their opponents, coach Steve Komphela said yesterday.

The side trained at their Carter High School training complex, and Komphela was bombarded by a swarm of media afterwards in a moment that was indicative of the enormity of Saturday’s match.

It might well be one of the biggest games in the club’s history, and it certainly will be the biggest in the careers of a large number of the players involved on Saturday, but Komphela has encouraged his charges to go into the clash with a deep respect for a Pirates side that is desperate for silverware after what has been a forgettable season.

“That would be the worst mistake of our lives, to think they were there for the taking. We need a lot of respect, and if we can carry that into the match with us, then we can make something happen,” the coach said. “But we are the underdogs and we respect our opposition. Pirates are a team who always have the capability irrespective of where they are on the log. We are fully aware of their strengths, but every man’s strength has a weakness in it.”

United will likely look to hit Pirates on the counter attack, using the pace of Orlando Smeekes as their trump card. But Komphela was not giving too much away in terms of how exactly he was planning to dismantle Vladimir Vermezovic’s side.

“I have to be guarded in talking about how we see them, because how see them will determine how we approach them,” explained Komphela. “All we can say is that we are fully aware of what they have been doing, and if on the night they do exactly that then it is something we are familiar with.”

Komphela would not put any extra pressure on his side by saying that this was the biggest match of his career.

“You don’t have to magnify it too much to the extent where it swallows you, because when you do that you start seeing things that aren’t there,” said Komphela. “But it is still a wonderful stage for the club to be on — in the semi-finals. I think the clubs deserve even more.”

Turning his attention to the atmosphere expected on Saturday, Komphela held nothing back. “It’s going to be crazy,” he said. “I just hope that we don’t go into the match with the mindset of a supporter. We need to go into the match with the mindset and emotions of coaches and players. We need to see things and interpret things.”

Aside from defender David Booysen, who continues to recover from a hamstring strain, United have a clean bill of health going into the match.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.