Bernard Parker emphasises importance of self-belief and mental toughness for Soweto Derby
Posted: 20 October 2017 Time: 16:15
Kaizer Chiefs striker Bernard Parker believes confidence and mental strength will be key factors in their Soweto Derby clash this weekend.
The Soweto giants, Chiefs and Orlando Pirates, renew their rivalry in their first Absa Premiership meeting of the 2017/18 campaign at the FNB Stadium on Saturday afternoon with kick-off set for 15h30.
Having come off the back of a huge win over Mamelodi Sundowns in midweek, Parker admits the morale-boost will play to their advantage when they run out at the Calabash tomorrow.
“With the modern game, it’s all about confidence. If you get given confidence, with the quality you possess as a footballer, nothing can stop you,” said Parker in the build-up to the match.
“It just takes the right mentality and attitude, as well as your heart, for positive happenings to follow.
“Going into the Soweto Derby off the back of the result in midweek, we need to keep the tactical discipline and keep doing what was working for us [against Sundowns] – doing it faster and being more clinical.”
With the pressure mounting on Amakhosi in recent times, given their trophyless run over the past two seasons as well as their unpredictability out on the park, the former Bafana Bafana frontman feels their newfound self-belief and mental toughness should see them over the line against the Buccaneers.
“The challenge in our game today is more mental. It’s also our duty to help the coach as senior players with managing the team and performances,” he said.
“If we do things according to our philosophy and game-plan then, with the right kind of discipline, I think things will come right.
“But if we want to go into the field, assuming Baroka is a 'small’ team – as most people would say – and then we get surprised. We could have done better – not only against Baroka, we had 10-man Wits, Golden Arrows, they all ended in draws at home.
“They weren’t threatening that much but hoping to get something from our mistakes. At the same time we didn’t challenge ourselves to work harder in our respective departments and roles so that it could benefit the team.
“If we could be more prepared mentally, and be reminded all the time that every game we go into we stretch ourselves, we can get the [desired] result.”