Orlando Pirates skipper Thabo Matlaba says coach Eric Tinkler will motivate the side
Posted: 27 May 2016 Time: 20:18
Orlando Pirates skipper Thabo Matlaba believes head coach Eric Tinkler will provide the team with the appropriate motivation to get past the hurdle provided by SuperSport United in the Nedbank Cup final.
The decider is a re-match after the teams played to a 2-2 draw in the league last Saturday with both sides hoping to gain entry into the CAF Confederation Cup by lifting the silverware.
“To be honest, the coach always reminds us about Al Ahly and Zamalek,” says Matlaba, recalling opponents that they were given little chance of getting past.
“Even when we played Free State Stars [in the Nedbank Cup semifinals] the coach told us that we need to treat this game like we are playing Al Ahly or Zamalek so we need to think that way and we will win this game.
“We went into that that game with the mentality of that we are not playing Free State Stars but rather Al Ahly or Zamalek and we won the game. Even now I am sure he [Tinkler] is going to give us a good motivation going into this game because he always gives us good motivation ahead of games.
“This is an important one and we need each other. We need each other and we need to motivate each other so this is a big one. We cannot lose this one after beating [Kaizer] Chiefs and [Mamelodi] Sundowns on the way,” says Matlaba.
The highly energetic wingback also admits that playing the same opponent in consecutive games is a challenge that they will however have to deal with.
Last Saturday, the two teams played out a 2-2 draw in the last league match of the season with Edwin Gyimah, Rooi Mahamutsa and Happy Jele tried out as a back three which gave the wingbacks freedom to stay in the opposition half.
“It is a challenge for us as players to be honest,” he says of facing the same opponents again.
“As you know we were playing with three centre-backs with the fullbacks having a free role and if they close that formation we must come up with a good Plan B so it is going to be difficult because this is a cup game.
“Even with them they know how to plan because they have a good coach (Stuart Baxter) so it is going to be a difficult game,” he says.