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Golden Arrows coach Clinton Larsen looking forward to Orlando Pirates clash

Posted: 28 October 2017 Time: 12:00

Golden Arrows coach Clinton Larsen says no player in South Africa wants to miss out on a game against the 'Big Three' of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns.

Arrow will host Pirates on Saturday in the Telkom Knockout Last-16 at Princess Magogo Stadium in KwaMashu.

Larsen, who previously won the TKO in 2012 with Bloemfontein Celtic, is looking to deliver his first trophy to Abafana Bes'thende after 22 months at the helm.

He guided the Durban-based outfit to the Nedbank Cup semi-finals for the first time last term but they were halted by the Buccaneers.

“We want to be a team that also wants to go to the cup finals with more consistency, that’s what we working towards,” Larsen said.

“Also, what’ll work in our favour is that no player in South Africa playing against Kaizer Chiefs, Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns wants to miss out on that game... I’m a former player and I know that first hand.

“You want to give your best, you want to put the best performance out there, you want to start. So I see the same thing in this group of players at training.

“Everybody wants to be present on Saturday. Everybody wants to play and make a name for himself and try and win the game for Arrows, and that’s good to have.

“Having said that, we still try to motivate them as best we can. But there’s little motivation needed because every player is up for the challenge.”

Arrows have lost 16 of 18 previous meetings with Pirates, which includes five straight defeats in cup games.

The hosts, however, defeated the Buccaneers in their final Premiership match last term, while they are the only unbeaten side left in the league this season after nine games.

“It’s very simple: we are more mature, we got more experience now 12 months down the line,” said Larsen of their strong start to 2017/18.

“They’ve got more games behind them the youngsters. There’s more confidence at the moment. There’s more a lot of things that’ll make us compete lot better than we did before.

“I’m not saying we are going to win. We’d like to win, but I think there’s a lot more in our favour compared to where we were last season at this point.”

In team news, Larsen has been boosted by the return from injury of Lehlohonolo Nonyane, Matome Mathiane and Nduduzo Sibiya. Danny Phiri will only return towards the end of the season after rupturing an Achilles tendon a few months ago.

Article by: Robin-Duke Madlala
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