The much talked-about derby goes down to the wires this Saturday October 26 at FNB Stadium-Calabash.
Hosts, Chiefs’ have been blowing hot and cold recently and fans were having none of it.
Their performance has been a talk in shebeens or at any gathering spot countrywide.
Kingston Nkatha, their striker has been on the receiving end of impatient fans-thus going to the extent of been booed- somethingn AmaKhosi fans are unfamilair with. Desperate times, perhaps?
But at today’s media brief, the 2012/2013 winning head coach Stuart Baxter says its all part of the game but, also warned, this might affect the young lad and in future other players’.
“We understand the frustrations the fans go through, so are we. But taking it on a player by fans who are supposed to be backing him could derail his performance.
Facing the on –song Bucs will be a litmus test for all of us, not for Nkatha alone, and we must rise to the occasion,” warned Baxter.
“Against Bucs this game is beyond three-points. It has to do with prestige, history and above-all character,” he told Sowetolife Mag Online.
Legend has it that, either Chiefs or Pirates whenever they meet the grass suffers greatly, considering AmaKhosi’s last weeks win was sheer luck against unfortunate Free State Stars during Telkom Cup battle. Well, after-all that’s what is needed in any sport. Luck!
As a relief for Bucs family, Baxter pointed out that Knowledge Musona is out with shoulder injury and Simphiwe “Shabba” Tshabalala has recovered.
Itumeleng Khune, Chiefs goal-minder also supported his team-mate and called fans to give him a chance just like any other player.
Chiefs’ in such battles have a tendency to resurface from obscurity!
Visitors -Bucs on the other hand have been firing all cylinders.
On the crest of being crowned champs for the Champions League finale against Esperance in the two-legged battle beginning in November, the ‘Ghost’ has made all and sundry envy them.
Last night they dismantled the hapless Durban outfit Golden Arrows 4-1 during the Telkom Cup at Orlando Stadium.
Questions and concerns were being throwna around on why the team only performs magnificently outside the SA borders and domestically their run goes hay-wire?
Well to SHOOSH everyone, the boys listened and have now turned the tide.
Having only played a handful of PSL games, Bucs have regained confidence, composure and their killer instinct could prove detrimental to Chiefs.
Lennox Bacele has come to the party having fluffled opportunities on numerous occassions. Kermit Erasmus is also back from injury and Sf’iso Myeni is a headache for most defenders.
However, on the issue of Happy Jele being stand-in captain ‘replacing’ Lucky Lekgwathi, Pirates’ coach Rogerio De Sa, defended the move and said ‘every player has to work harder to win his position back in the squad’.
Jele admitted this will be his first time captaining the team in derby.
Who will be the last man standing, come witness this battle…
Meanwhile, close to 65 000 tickets have been sold and by end of the week could be sold out. Fans have been urged to buy tickets early and come on time.
Entertainment by Kabelo “Bugga Luv” and others will be provided.
Park and ride will also apply with trains, Rea Vaya, Top Six taxis provided for those with valid tickets.
AmaKhosi also took the opportunity to launch what is called KC Mobile as part of increasing communication with the club.