Speaking without sparing any reservations, both clubs representatives spoke their hearts out during the hastily arranged media brief today at Vodacom head offices in Midrand.
First to wet the press appetite was Chiefs coach Stuart Baxter, who said this game has been dubbed the match of key significance considering both teams are performing to their peak.
“Whenever both teams meet for derby it’s bound to sparkle and players’ know what’s at stake. Despite our under-performance against Chippa-which we rested key players’- having had a chat with them has motivated them. By the way such games players’ tend to rise to the occasion and they’re ready to die on the field come Saturday,” remarked the cool and calm Roger, who and the team landed this morning from Cape Town.
His darling whom he groomed from Wits S’fiso Myeni-returning from injury- said he was looking forward to his first derby same as his coach.
From were I was seated, one could see the good relationship coach and player have fostered, that is Roger and Myeni.
“Yeah, I’m looking forward to the game. I’m fit, strong and psychologically prepared to deal with our rivals,” gesticulating at Khune, who was seated next to his coach.
They spoke seldom. Too serious perhaps?
Accompanied by a wary smile, Itu said theirs is simple. To punish Pirates were it hurt most.
“Having won our last game against hapless Ajax CT, the player’s are raring to die for the team and their fans. This is going to be a humdinger of a battle. Despite injuries to other players’ everyone is ready,” pointed out the confident Khune smartly dressed in Chiefs suit.
Baxter, brushing his moustache relentlessly, said since this is his first derby as well, he would forever cherish such moments and to get his early Xmas, his team should brush off Bucs.
“Such occasions inspire players’, fans, management, the country and everyone who follow soccer to air their opinions. That’s their democratic right. Having said that, my technical team is working around the clock on player’s who might have got minor knocks against Ajax. Although headache it might be, this would help to establish and reconfigure the team for Saturday. But that should not give me sleepless nights,” he said.
Roger, in (meaner) mood said this was going to be a ‘Cat and Mouse’ encounter which (infuriated) Baxter who counteracted with ‘Clash of the Titans.”
Is it how its going to turn out on Saturday, we wait with bated breath…
The contentious issue of pitch (un)readiness was addressed by the Stadium Management of SA CE Jacques Grobbelaar, who said the pitch and the layout of the grass was up to scratch.
This follows concerns on the music sensation concert of Lady Gaga last week, which had players’ and management of both Chiefs and Pirates throwing tantrums ahead of derby.
“The status of the pitch is in good standard, and everyone should look forward to a spectacle on Saturday,” he assured.
Yes, we’ve made additions and changes to it but the grass looks perfect, he continued.
Meanwhile, with the tickets sold out, security has urged fans to come early and those who do not possess tickets should not bother coming or intend selling tickets at the stadium.
Gates open from 11pm and game kicks-off at 3:30pm. Entertainment will be galore!
7 trains from Metrorail and other public mode of transports have been made available to avoid traffic congestion.