Matlaba relishing Baroka showdown


Pirates, who returned to training last week, are desperate to climb the standings as they trail Premiership leaders Mamelodi Sundowns by eight points, with the Brazilians also boasting a match in hand midway through the campaign.

Matlaba told his club's website: “Everyone is in good spirits and ready to go! Since it’s the start of the year, there is always a feeling of starting fresh and putting things of last year behind you. We want to do well as a team, but it’s not enough to just say it. We need to fight. It’s not going to be easy but we have to keep believing in ourselves as players that we can get the job done. We need to take it one game at a time until we finish.

“Starting the year at home is great because we will have the support of the home crowd and that’s the most important thing. Seeing them in their numbers is a huge motivation for us and we urge them to keep believing in us. We all need to keep believing and work together to climb up the table.”

Sea Robbers coach Milutin Sredojevic is boosted by the return from injury of fullbacks Innocent Maela and Mthokozisi Dube, while striker Lyle Foster has also rejoined the squad after representing Amajita at the COSAFA U-20 Championships in December.

Midfielders Thabo Qalinge and Thembinkosi Lorch are doubtful with groin and hamstring strains respectively.

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