Phiri eyes Nedbank Cup final spot
Posted: 22 April 2017 Time: 12:06
Platinum Stars midfielder Gerald Phiri Jr has set his sights on a safe passage to the Nedbank Cup final, with Golden Arrows lying in wait in the quarterfinal on Saturday.
Dikwena will visit Abafana Bes'thende in an all-top flight affair at the Princess Magogo Stadium this afternoon, with a semi-final spot in the domestic FA cup up for grabs.
The Rustenburg-based outfit last weekend secured their first ever qualification to the CAF Confederation Cup group stage in their maiden continental campaign, but have experienced contrasting fortunes in the league, where they've lost their last three consecutive games.
Phiri, who has been a key figure for Stars in their last nine league outings, hopes advancing in the domestic cup can inspire a turnover in the Absa Premiership.
“A win [over Arrows] is going to be a big boost and a very important one because we need it," he tells his club website.
"If we grind the result [today], it’s going to push us to get a better position in the league. We can’t be in the bottom half, we have to be in the top eight."
With Clinton Larsen's outfit four places above the 'Crocodiles' in the league in seventh place, and reaching the quarterfinals with a shock win over Mamelodi Sundowns, the Malawian international admits their opponents' strength in attack.
“Arrows are a good counter-attacking team, but we have done our homework on them so let’s see how it all goes,” said Phiri, who also admitted that their midweek defeat has deflated himself and his teammates somewhat.
“Against Polokwane City, the loss brought us down [because] we expected a win," he added. "But we have been there [through a slump], and we got out of it."
Stars last lifted silverware in 2013, when they picked up the top eight and league cup double, with Phiri hoping they can at least reach another final after four years.
"We have grinded results before. We are going for a win against Arrows. We expect to reach the final but it depends on luck. All we hope for is to get to the final,” he concluded.
Kick-off of this afternoon's clash is set for 15h00.