Nyatama aware of title implications

The Buccaneers are preparing to host Phunya Sele Sele at the Orlando Stadium this evening, as they look to resume their Absa Premiership camapign.

With just six games remaining in the season, Pirates are within touching distance of log leaders Mamelodi Sundowns but have repeatedly insisted their aim is not on winning the title just yet.

After registering their worst finish in the PSL era last season, Nyatama insists their main focus is on making amends and restorng the pride of the club. However, he has admitted that winning the league could still come as a bonus.

“Our stance on this [league title] issue seems to have created some controversy but for us its simple," he reitterated on his club's website.

"The club had a difficult 2016/17 season and we have taken an undertaking as players and Technical Team to use that as our motivation.

"We are fighting for the pride of the brand and to restore our reputation as one of the best teams on the continent.

“This is a two-fold approach for us. Firstly, we focus on each match as it comes by doing a proper analysis of the opponent. That includes identifying their strengths which we need to guard against, and also identifying their weaknesses, both individually and collectively, which we will look to exploit.

"In order to achieve this, we play as a team and every player on the field is aware of what the plan is and what we need to do in order to execute it.

“Our secondary objective is to accumulate as many points as we possibly can. When we started the season, we wanted to improve from last year’s position.

"I think its safe to say that we will finish safely within the Top 8, and will also show improvements in all departments as well.

"Like Coach Micho always says, we are a work in progress. We are always working towards improving our performance at training and on match day.

“We are aware of the implications of tonight’s result against Celtic and all the results from this point on. Should we found ourselves in a position to win the Absa Premiership in the process, then of course we will grab that opportunity with both hands.

"Winning at Orlando Pirates is obviously a requirement but doing it now would only mean that our plans would have come to fruition a lot earlier than expected.”

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Nyatama, who joined Bucs from Celtic at the start of the season, is wary of the threat his former side will pose this evening, and stresses the need to deny any opportunities for counter-attacks from the visitors. 

"Coming to Orlando Stadium is always a big deal. Celtic will be highly motivated because they want to cause an upset and win at Orlando against Pirates," he added.

"For most teams, when travelling to Orlando, the players see it as an opportunity to prove that they are better than the current Pirates squad so they can also show that they too deserve to play here.

"This is an opportunity to impress a big team so it’s motivation in its own. I know from personal experience because I also used the same approach when I was Celtic.

“We expect them to sit back and try catch us on the counter; they used that tactic when they played against Maritzburg United.

"Orlando Stadium is a big pitch and its easy for us to rotate the ball and create spaces. This is something we have been working on at training.

"We must stay compact and also try to counter press them and move to win the ball in their half, that way it won’t be easy for them to counter attack.”