Bucs face an uphill battle

MTN8

This season the Buccaneers have already played eight matches, despite having played just one League match, and if they progress to the Final of the Champions League, MTN8 and Telkom Knockout, they will play 33 matches before Christmas.

Bucs play Polokwane City tonight, before a crucial match against Al Ahly on Sunday, September 22 and then the MTN8 semi-final against Kaizer Chiefs.

Orlando Pirates fixtures

KickOff.com speaks to former Bafana Bafana stars Helman Mkhalele, Phil Masinga and Neil Tovey about how playing two matches in two days will affect the team, both physically and mentally.

Helman Mkhalele

I don’t think Orlando Pirates will be facing a bigger challenge by playing two crucial matches in two days because they have a number of good players and they are covered in all departments.

But everything will come down to their mindset; if the players tell themselves that they can cope with the situation and are able to win both matches then that would work to their advantage. But if they start stressing and start having negative thoughts about it then it might work against them.

If I was Roger [de Sa, Pirates coach] I would not make wholesale changes in the two matches they will play unless it’s an unexpected case of injuries. But the players need to prepare themselves mentally and motivate themselves without having any negative thoughts.

Phil Masinga

Roger knew from the onset that his going to have a very hectic season that’s why he has gone for so many players in the team, so that he can cover for any who are fatigued.

It’s still at the beginning of the season and the players are looking forward to be playing but towards the end of season there’ll be more fatigued.

This might be too much but a good 48 hours rest is enough for players to recover from past games. In Europe you see players playing on Wednesday in the Uefa Champions League and also playing on Saturdays, so these things do happen. That’s why you see big clubs such as Barcelona, Real Madrid and Manchester United always beefing up their squad.

CAF will help a lot for Pirates players in terms of international experience and Pirates have players that can be the future of our national team. Kaizer Chiefs will also take part in this tournament in a few months and I don’t see anything wrong with it, in fact the players are looking forward to competing in this tournament.

Also remember our League has only 16 teams, it’s not like we have a big League with a lot of teams. It’s not good for South African to have such small number of teams in the League.

Neil Tovey

It helps a lot because there won’t be much time to focus on past defeats, it will be the perfect opportunity for them to look forward to the next game.

As a footballer you like to play as much as you can. It’s amazing how a victory will help a team in the long run.

The majority of the players are playing in the CAF Champions League and those who are not [Kermit Erasmus, for example] will freshen things up when the team is playing in the League.

By Zola Doda and Christopher Maqashu

 

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