Orlando Pirates coach Josef Zinnbauer says his side will be underdogs when they meet Mamelodi Sundowns in the Nedbank Cup quarter-finals at Loftus Stadium on Thursday.
But promises they will fight to the end and believes the squad can add to the MTN8 title they won earlier this season.
“It is a big game for us, we know our opponent is the best in the league, but it is a good experience for us and our players.
“We have to wait a little bit in terms of recovery and injured players, to know who comes back. But I hope we find the right 11 players to go to the next round in the semi-finals,” he said.
“For us it is good, we can measure ourselves against the top team in the league. And one that is doing well in the Champions League. This is good for our players, we get more experience, and we have a chance to win this game. I asked the players, ‘what do you want, do you want to go forward? Then you must win the game’. We have nothing to lose, Sundowns is the favourite in the game, they have the best team in the league.”
He said team changes would come after various considerations. “You have to find the right players in the moment, and each week it may not be the same [ones]. You might ask, ‘why is this player not playing’, but it is the same in all the football world. One player cannot play 45-50 games in a season, they get tired, injured or mentally fatigued. It is not so much a tactical battle, we each know what the other can do.
“What is more important is the right player for the right position. And then you need the players to really want to win.
“Our players speak about wanting to go forward, to win titles, I hear this all the time in interviews. But now you have to show it. It can’t be all talk.”
“I don’t need to speak about motivation. For me, we have a chance [to win] when we fight. It is a big chance for us, against a very good and strong team. But in football you always have a chance. As a coach, you want to always win games, you want to win titles. But we know it is not something you can just dream and then it happens.
“You have to work on this, you get negatives like injuries. Pirates expect to win titles. This club is very big, it has a good structure, a good chairman [Irvin Khoza], good staff and a good squad.
“As a coach, I want to win titles. That is the reason you work for a big club like Pirates, but the opponent also wants the same. We have to be ready for this game. We have respect for Sundowns, but we have no fear.”
Meanwhile, Banyana Banyana defeated Botswana 2-0 in their international friendly at Milpark in Egoli on Tuesday, with goals from Gabriela Salgado and Thembi Kgatlana.