Johannesburg - Kaizer Chiefs striker Bernard Parker says despite being ready to slot back into the team’s starting line-up, he still needs time to improve his sharpness on the pitch.
Read: History and Pirates stand in Chiefs way
Parker recently returned to the team following surgery to his ankle in June and managed a full game against the University of Pretoria over the weekend.
"It definitely does feel good to be back. It also feels good to be back when the team is winning," Parker said at Chiefs’ training base in Johannesburg on Tuesday.
"I am fit, I managed to last the whole 90 minutes and I wasn’t tired after the game.
"The way we play, we go forward quickly and in our defending we press a lot and very quickly. So I think more game-time will improve my sharpness."
Having spent much of last season nursing the ankle niggle, Parker was operated on after the last game, in the hope that he would recover in time for the start of the 2014/15 campaign.
He did, however, miss the first few games before making an appearance from the bench against Platinum Stars in Chiefs’ second-leg semi-final last month.
Now with more than 100 minutes to his name, Parker was back in contention for a starting berth and would be a welcome boost for coach Stuart Baxter ahead of this weekend’s MTN8 final meeting with Orlando Pirates in Durban.
"Our confidence is very high, we’ve won every game since the start of the season and I believe we go into this game as favourites," Parker said of the game at Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday.
"I’m sure the coach will apply the right tactics. If we’re mentally prepared, we’ll come out on top.
"If we play the Kaizer Chiefs way, it has proven this season that we do win games."
Looking at his opposite numbers, Parker said he was impressed by the Buccaneers’ strike partnership of Kermit Erasmus and Lehlohonolo Majoro.
"I’m very happy for Kermit Erasmus, it’s about time now that he shows his quality and he’s at a good team, he’s doing well and he’ll be their danger man," Parker said.
"Majoro understands Kaizer Chiefs’ previous coach Vladimir Vermezovic’s mentality, his style of play so he (Majoro) is fitting in very well.
"I’m sure he’ll get back to his best very soon."
A veteran for both club and country, Parker is no stranger to the big stage.
However, he felt that no matter the stature of the players among the Glamour Boys' ranks, the entire team would have to put in a stellar performance to outplay their Soweto rivals.
"A Soweto Derby is motivation enough for us as players. The coach has been ironing out the Kaizer Chiefs’ way, it’s what wins us games and makes us look good.
"It’s not about being a big player or a small player. I think it’s about being the good team-mate that you can be."