Orlando Pirates captain Happy Jele says that while his side will come up against one of the continent’s best teams in Mamelodi Sundowns in Thursday’s Nedbank Cup quarter-final, they are also a big side and won’t make it easy for the Brazilians.
Defending champions the Brazilians will be looking to continue their imperious form in all competitions, while the Sea Robbers will be hoping to edge towards a second Cup title for this season after claiming the MTN8 earlier this term.
The two teams have met only once this season – Sundowns won 1-0 against Pirates at Loftus Versfeld in January – and as they clash for the second time, the focus for Jele is firmly on sealing progression and not getting revenge.
‘It’s a game, we’re going to fight as Orlando Pirates, and we want to get the result to go to the next round, and it’s not going to be easy for them,’ said Jele in the buildup to the game.
‘It’s not revenge; it’s just a game. The most important thing is that it is a competition. It’s either you’re in, or you’re out. So, for us, it’s not about revenge. We’re focusing on ourselves as a team, we want to go through to the next round and, to do that, we have to push harder.
‘I would say it’s a motivation; to play two games and we can be in the final. It’s a motivation on its own. But first, we need to focus on the game that is coming, which is the quarter-final, that’s the most important thing. If we fight from there, then we go to the semi-final. I believe if we put [in] more effort then we will go to the next round.’
‘Both teams have good qualities, you know, and we’re playing against a good team in Africa,’ Jele added.
‘They have been doing well in the Champions League and in the league,’ Jele told reporters on Wednesday. ‘We respect them but, on the day, it’s a game, a game of football for us as a team. As Pirates, we are big also, we are going to go there because we want to win.’
The winner between Sundowns and Pirates will meet Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila in the semi-finals on Sunday.
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