Ramahlwe Mphahlele calls for usual focus ahead of Soweto Derby
Posted: 2 March 2017 Time: 17:05
Kaizer Chiefs defender Ramahlwe Mphahlele has lamented the build-up to the Soweto Derby and says they should only focus on the three points at stake.
When Chiefs and Pirates clash it often prompts the South African football fraternity to come to a stand still as the two biggest rivals in Southern Africa battle it out over 90 minutes.
However, the players are put through their paces all week long while also having to engage in a media frenzy just two days before the match.
This could become quite taxing on the players mentally and ultimately affect their performance on the day, according to the former Mamelodi Sundowns skipper.
"For me, it's a little bit busy for my liking because we need to focus on the game, and now we have to be up and down and do certain things," said 'Rama'.
"Yes, it's part of the job and we have to do the things we have to do but, at the same time, try and focus on the game.
"Yes, it's got a rich history – it's one of the biggest games in Southern Africa – so you can't just treat it like a small game; the truth is it's a big game."
The 27-year-old full-back feels, aside from all the hype, players need to maintain a balanced mental approach to the affair as the match is worth the same amount of points as any other in the league.
"But I think in terms of our mental strength, we should just treat it like each and every game because it's got three points; it doesn't have six points," he added.
"If we win we get three points, it's just that we won against the rivals, so we just need to go there and impose ourselves, perform well and win the game."
With Amakhosi currently a point off the summit of the Absa Premiership log, Mphahlele feels it's imperative that they do everything within their control to maintain the position amongst the front-runners, despite being a few games ahead.
"This year we've done well, we haven't lost yet, and it will go a long way. If you look at the log it's just one point difference, although the likes of Wits and Sundowns haven't played all their games.
"But it's important to stay at the top with the pack. Obviously if you're playing for one team, you'll hope that you can win and hope that the others drop points, but the most important thing is that we concentrate on ourselves.
"We aught to take each and ever game as it comes and try and get the maximum points – that's all we need to do. Yeah, it's not really up to us, but we will do our bit in terms of winning our games," concluded the Bafana Bafana defender.