'Ace' promises 'different' Derby
Posted: 4 March 2017 Time: 10:51 am
Orlando Pirates midfielder Oupa Manyisa has conceded that they come into the Soweto derby as 'underdogs' yet feels it will be a different match with new coach Kjell Jonevret in charge.
Jonevret is in his second week in charge since taking over a crisis-laden Pirates outfit that has not won in their last 10 fixtures in all competitions.
The Buccaneers need all the points they can get to push their cause of rising into the top half of the league table, following their horrible run of form.
Meanwhile, Kaizer Chiefs want to keep up to the pace of the leading pack of this title race that is meandering into the final stretch.
“We are underdogs,” acknowledges Manyisa without hesitation, and well aware of why this is so.
With the derby famously referred to as the game where 'form counts for nothing', could they be leaning their hopes on that?
“All we have been doing is just focusing on ourselves and how we will approach this game. As a team we have to collect maximum points but, as you know, Chiefs has the upper hand so we have to go there and fight for one another," adds the Bucs skipper.
"This derby will be different because as you know we have to adapt to his [Jonevret] system and by adapting to his system we have to bring our intelligence into that system.
"The team that will win this game is the one that will concentrate to the maximum levels until the 90th minute, because it is a big game that has pride for the supporters.”
Already heavily criticised for his mediocre showing since returning from a lengthy injury lay-off, Manyisa also admits he hasn’t played as well as he would have wanted to but knows that the Soweto Derby could provide the spring he needs.
“I think since I came back I haven’t been playing that well but as you know I had been out for 10 months, so I am working very hard at training and my teammates are also trying to help me so that I can go back to my best," he concedes.
"I now have to start from the bottom and go up again. I can only be able to do that by working very hard and I think the Soweto Derby can bring my playing levels up. As you know I have to also help my teammates calm down because for some of them it will be their first Derby, so we have to go there and fight for the team.”
This afternoon’s match is at FNB Stadium, with kick-off scheduled for 15h30.