Cape Town - Orlando Pirates could find themselves short on preparation when they face Baroka in Saturday’s Telkom Knockout final in Port Elizabeth.
The Buccaneers face a punishing schedule this week, which started at 02:00 on Tuesday morning when they departed from OR Tambo International Airport on a five-hour flight to the Seychelles for the second-leg of their CAF Champions League preliminary round tie against Light Stars.
While Pirates enjoy a healthy 5-1 lead in the tie and are expected to finish the job on Wednesday without too much trouble, they will then return to South Africa with just two days to prepare for the all-important Cup final at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Saturday.
Coach Milutin Sredojevic and his team are feeling the pressure and will be taking nothing for granted against Light Stars - even if it does appear to be the easier of the two tasks that lie ahead.
“The squad is ready, and the players are showing that they all want to win this away match‚” Sredojevic said.
“We don’t undermine any team - this isn’t a Pirates thing to do. We respect every opponent that we face - this is why we are approaching this match the same way as we would approach any league match.
“While we carry all the expectations from our supporters to perform‚ Light Stars come into this game without any pressure. But be that as it may‚ we are a team used to pressure.
"Pressure is part and parcel of being part of a big team.”
This weekend's Telkom Knockout final presents Pirates with an opportunity to claim their first silverware since 2014, and a first trophy for Sredojevic in his second season in charge.