Ncikazi – Soweto derby loss won’t matter in the MTN8 final

Orlando Pirates assistant coach Mandla Ncikazi says a Soweto derby defeat won’t affect the way they will perform when they take on AmaZulu in the MTN8 final on Saturday.

Where many tipped the Buccaneers to come out victorious against Kaizer Chiefs last Saturday, the opposite occurred, with Amakhosi seizing a 1-0 victory with a Yusuf Maart wonder goal.

Ncikazi, who was co-coach when Ezimnyama Ngenkani lost the CAF Confederation Cup final to RS Berkane last season says the outcome of the MTN8 will rely on how well they’re prepared.

“Cup finals are just cup finals, there’s no form, there’s no history and it will be like that again on Saturday,” Ncikazi said in the MTN8 final pre-match press conference.

“How you played the previous match has got no connotation to the current match. What will happen in the match is how we prepared, is how the players are prepared to play the match and the psychological effect that will be around on the field.

“And I’m sure the capacity in the team is good enough to win the match irrespective of the previous outcome in the derby.”

Pirates might have to make do without their captain Innocent Maela, who was forced off in the first half during the Soweto derby. The skipper revealed at the beginning of the week that he wasn’t sure whether he would be fit for Saturday’s clash.

When asked about the injury update, the former Golden Arrows head coach said, “There’s a few players where it’s a touch and go, they are still on the medical table and Maela is one of them.”

“So based on what happened yesterday with the medical team and today, we’re not sure. Maybe the call will be made today about his health, if he is good, he’ll lead the team, if he’s not, other players will be there to take his position.”

Orlando Pirates assistant coach Mandla Ncikazi Credit : Backpagepix