Black Leopards coach Joel Masutha gears up for Orlando Pirates showdown
Posted: 28 August 2018 Time: 15:30
Black Leopards coach Joel Masutha says even though as a club they have respect for Orlando Pirates, that will not apply when the two sides clash in the Absa Premiership tonight.
Leopards have won once and drawn twice this season, and Masutha is determined to continue that unbeaten streak at Bucs' expense at Peter Mokaba Stadium (19h30).
Pirates have won once, drawn once and lost two of their league games so far, while their confidence was also hurt by their MTN8 quarter-final exit at the hands of SuperSport United.
"What I can promise you, we will play the way we are used to," Masutha tells KickOff.com.
"We not going to change because it's Pirates, and we not going to look at the past results like their three games. Thina we still have to respect them. They are a very strong team, full of quality, and also with their technical team it's very experienced. They know how to win. I mean Rhulani [Mokwena] has done a lot, he has won many things while he was still with Sundowns. 'Micho' also in Uganda, you know he changed football in Uganda. So they know what they are doing. It's just that sometimes you can do anything and still not win.
"But with me I feel that people will enjoy the football. That one I can promise. It will be a good game you know. People might say Pirates is not on form ... there is no way that Pirates is not on form. The fact is we respect Pirates but definitely on the pitch there won't be any respect as we are going there to win, and Pirates also will play to win. That's why I am saying we are braced for a very tough match, but I believe we will get a positive result at the end of the game."
Asked if this was Leopards' biggest game so far in the Absa Premiership, he says: "These games are very tough, teams are unpredictable. So I also have to respect the other clubs that we have played against, and I believe games are different. In stature yes, it's our biggest game considering Pirates' history. But I think the Chippa match and the Polokwane City match they were very tough. So I wouldn't like to say this one is bigger than the other one. I believe it's only up to what we give and how we approach the match. I believe we have many supporters."
Even though the match will take place at Peter Mokaba Stadium and not at Lidoda Duvha's slaughterhouse which is Thohoyandou Stadium, Masutha believes their supporters will still come in droves.
"I believe we have many supporters. I think we can match them in the stands. But at the same time, it's one match where it might be 50/50 in terms of supporters, so that will be a little bit strange because you may find that some supporters used to support Pirates before Leopards got promoted, and now some will be on the fence. Polokwane is also our home so I don't see much difference except to say that Thohoyandou it suits us more you know, and that's our number one home. We have a full squad."