Rama admits Nedbank Cup pressure

Having already admitted that their chances of winning the Absa Premiership title are all but over, Mphahlele says their main focus now should be on obtaining the Nedbank Cup.

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Chiefs are set to face Cape Town City in the cup quarterfinal at the Mbombela Stadium next weekend, with this realistically being their only remaining chance of ending their trophy drought before it reaches its four-year mark.

The former Mamelodi Sundowns captain thus believes they need to make a statement by beating The Citizens in their cup campaign in order to avoid suggestions that they’re only able to overcome the so-called minnows, having beaten two ABC Motsepe League sides in the earlier rounds.

“That one we can control and obviously it’s in our hands. And we have a very difficult opponent also, but for you to win the cup, you have to beat these guys,” said Rama.

“Because you don’t only want to be beating the small teams and they say, ‘No, that’s how they [won the cup].’ So, it’s a big game against Cape Town City at the end of March.

“But It’s up to us now to say, ‘Yes, we can eliminate Cape Town City and go to the next round.’”

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Given their slim chances of still being able to challenge for the league title with six games remaining, Mphahlele admitted the expectations to now go all the way in the cup causes great “pressure and stress”.

“It also causes pressure and stress, because we know we have a chance to get something this season, and we just have to give it our full attention,” he added.

“We have to go out and fight for it, it’s not going to be easy, we know. They also want the cup, and we want the cup, and I think if we push for the Nedbank [Cup] maybe it will break this dark cloud and we’ll then start winning trophies again.

“But I’m hopeful that we’ll do well against Cape Town City and win the game so that we progress to the semi-final, and obviously we know there’s a cup – we can see it.

“There are still some big teams left, but we have a chance. It’s actually our last hope of getting something this season.”

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