Following a 4-1 loss at home to Kaizer Chiefs, City were then trailing Orlando Pirates 2-0 at half-time four days later, before Ayanda Patosi’s inspirational brace brought the Citizens level to salvage a point against their Soweto rivals.
And as City gear up for a consecutive MTN8 final, left-back Dove admits the attitude and fighting spirit shown in their previous game against Bucs serves as a major boost heading into this weekend’s showdown against SuperSport United.
“It was not easy coming back from 2-0 against Pirates, but that result has motivated us,” the Mozambican said.
“We have been working extremely hard for this final. The coaches gave us a few days off after the Pirates game to refresh, and we’re all focused and willing to work hard for the win.”
City lost last year’s final to the very same opponents via a penalty shootout, yet Dove insists there isn’t any added pressure to avenge that defeat this time around.
“I think there’s no pressure – it’s a final and we want to win it,” he said.
“Last year we couldn’t – we did everything we could to win the game, but with penalty shootouts, anything can happen. This season we are all willing to work hard to see if we can win the final.”
City beat SuperSport 2-0 in their opening league game of the current season, yet Dove is not reading too much into that result, and knows the danger the Pretoria side pose.
“We can’t take that game to this one – they’re two different games, and the motivation is different,” he said.
“We are playing for a trophy, so we just have to play our own game as we’ve been doing, and we’ll see what happens.
“It’s not going to be an easy game – they are a good team with a lot of quality players. But we’ve been working on what we haven’t been doing well, and it’s all about us, not about SuperSport, and about who is willing to work hard on the day.”
Kick-off at Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday evening is set for 19h00.