SuperSport United desperate for points as they prepare to take on Orlando Pirates
Posted: 11 April 2018 Time: 11:30
Reneilwe Letsholonyane says SuperSport United never imagined themselves fighting for relegation, especially after making a great start to the season.
Matsatsantsa won the MTN8 early in the campaign under former coach Eric Tinkler, beating Cape Town City on penalties at Moses Mabhida Stadium. With that type of start, it came as no surprise that many were tipping them as one of the favourites to win the title.
Things, however, have not gone according to plan. The 2016 CAF Confederation Cup finalists are in 14th place on the Absa Premiership standings, desperately needing points to get themselves out of trouble.
They are just three points ahead of Ajax Cape Town, who occupy the play-offs spot. Should SuperSport lose to Orlando Pirates at Mbombela Stadium, and Ajax beat Bidvest Wits at Athlone Stadium (both at 19h30 tonight), then Matsatsantsa would drop into 15th spot.
SuperSport were beaten 1-0 by Gor Mahia in the Confederation Cup first leg play-off match in Kenya on Sunday and now return to league action, determined to get only their third win in 2018.
“We all know that it’s difficult to play Confed Cup and then come back to focus on the league, but it’s something that we knew about all along and we don’t complain about it anymore. We put ourselves in that situation, in terms of playing those games. We knew the challenges, so we accept the challenge,” Letsholonyane tells KickOff.com.
“When the season started we were doing well and we looked like we would be challenging for the league, but unfortunately we find ourselves in the relegation zone. We put ourselves in this situation, so we have to get ourselves out.”
Pirates, meanwhile, are having a fantastic season, challenging for the league title after finishing outside the top eight last term. They have an opportunity to close the gap at the top to just one point behind leaders Mamelodi Sundowns, who are only in action on Saturday against Bidvest Wits.
“Pirates have a good team. They have been doing well and I would not even judge them by how they performed last season. We did well last season and look at where we are this season. Even when they were not doing well, you’d still have that respect for the brand they have because they have one of the biggest brands in the country. It’s going to be a tough game, so we need to work hard.”