Bidvest Wits' Sifiso Hlanti welcomes Telkom Knockout opportunity against Free State Stars
Posted: 24 October 2017 Time: 12:15
Bidvest Wits defender Sifiso Hlanti has welcomed the challenge of facing Free State Stars in their Telkom Knockout opener this weekend.
The Clever Boys will be up against an Ea Lla Koto side they have struggled against in recent times, having drawn 2-2 earlier this season and beaten them in regulation time just once in their last 10 meetings.
However, Gavin Hunt has been adamant on casting off the 'hoodoo' by playing friendlies against Luc Eymael's side in pre-season as well as during the recent FIFA breaks, and Hlanti believes that may be of some help.
"I think we have an advantage because it's going to be our home game, and we are positive enough to face them again," Hlanti tells KickOff.com.
"It might help us that the boys have been doing well since we've been playing friendly games against them, but come to the official game things might change.
"Friendly games are not the same as official games, so we'll have to see it how it goes come Saturday evening."
The two sides meet at the Bidvest Stadium, with kick-off set for 20h15.
Having gotten off on the wrong foot this season, when they missed out on defending their MTN8 crown to Cape Town City, the Telkom Knockout brings a big opportunity to turn their fortunes around as they struggle in the Absa Premiership as well.
The Bafana Bafana fullback admits to the importance of obtaining a cup to appease their supporters, but insists they will not be placing added pressure on themselves to go all the way just yet.
"It is important because at the end of the day we have to collect something this season. Since we put ourselves in a certain bracket [of winning silverware], everyone expects something from us," he adds.
"I think if we were to win something this season it will help us, and even though we're not putting ourselves under pressure it doesn't mean we can relax as players.
"The most important thing is to lift one another so that we can be able to achieve what we have set out."