Orlando Pirates' Micho Sredojevic dubs Cape Town City clash the 'final before the final' in Nedbank Cup
Posted: 14 March 2018 Time: 14:30
Orlando Pirates coach Milutin Sredojevic has downplayed the notion that Johannesburg teams tend to struggle down in Cape Town, and dubs tonight’s match the ‘final before the final’.
The Buccaneers will this evening face Cape Town City in a Nedbank Cup last-16 clash at the Cape Town Stadium – the same venue at which they were thrashed 3-0 by Ajax Cape Town six weeks ago.
‘Micho’, wary of the difference in altitude and weather conditions, however, insists their previous result in the Mother City will have no bearing on this tie, while stating that a similar yet improved performance could be enough to see them past the Citizens.
“Coming from 1800m above sea level, we’re going to sea level where there is more oxygen and you are geologically in an advantage if you are not there for more than 48 hours, when acclimatisation starts,” said Sredojevic.
“It is true the weather is different but I will not go in that direction, we will have our focus firmly on the football.
“We would be happy and proud if we put out the same performance as we did against Ajax Cape Town, but of course with a much better conversion ratio and much tighter defence.
“It is our intention to show that it was one of those bad days in the office the last time [we played in Cape Town], I don’t think that result could influence this match.”
Despite the team having shown vast improvement from their dismal 2016/17 campaign, the Serbian tactician has refused to be drawn on the prospect of making amends by lifting the Nedbank Cup this year.
“We do not think beyond this game against Cape Town City. It has our full focus for 90, and possibly more, minutes,” he stated.
“Cape Town City, until their loss against Kaizer Chiefs, were in the title race, and they could still be in after winning their last match [against Chippa United].
“We know that this is the ‘derby’ match of this round of Nedbank Cup fixtures, and in a way is the final before the final.
“It is a very good match that will tell us where we are at present, from a point of what we are doing both on and off the field.
“But we need to be mentally strong because we are fully aware that it is a cup game and we are either in or out, so we are concentrated only on that.”