Baroka FC coach Sello Chokoe feels a responsibility towards the people of Limpopo to put in an accomplished performance against Kaizer Chiefs in their Nedbank Cup last eight match.
The game takes place on Sunday afternoon at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane, kick-off at 3pm.
Baroka, the team from Ga-Mphahlele, booked their place in the last eight with a sensational 2-1 win over Moroka Swallows, while Amakhosi thrashed Bidvest Wits 4-0.
Chokoe, a young coach at just 28-years-old, hopes the local fans will rally behind his team.
“We’re going to make it difficult for Chiefs; they can expect a real fight from us on Sunday.
“It’s going to be great for the people of Limpopo to see a home team in action – until now it’s only been Free State Stars who have played some games at the Peter Mokaba Stadium.
“We’re expecting a packed stadium and we hope many of the supporters will be behind us.”
Chokoe says the technical team are trying to keep the players grounded ahead of what for them is a dream encounter against the most popular club in the country.
“We are trying to calm the players down, get them to play their normal game – they don’t have to try and do impossible things on the field.
“We have won the Vodacom league already, which was our priority – we’re in the process of achieving our goal of qualifying for the first division.
“So with that out of our way, we can go and meet Chiefs in a relaxed frame of mind and just give our best and play our normal game,” added Chokoe.
Key players for the third tier side are likely to be Katlego Mashego and Thobani Mncwango, while substitute Mashilo Moremi came off the bench to score the winner against Swallows with his first touch of the ball.
Amakhosi have in recent years suffered several defeats to lower division teams in this competition, but Chiefs coach Vladimir Vermezovic denies that his team take such matches for granted.
“That’s an old story; this team plays with the same attitude against each opponent.
“We will prepare and play against this Vodacom league side like it’s a PSL team – we mean to be serious,” said Vermezovic.
“I don’t underestimate Baroka – there is a big difference between Vodacom and PSL, but we will take this game seriously.”
“We will treat it like a big game, and it’s also important for preparation for our matches against Sundowns and Ajax. In the last three games we have scored a lot of goals and I hope we will continue this.”
The last time the Glamour Boys won the Nedbank Cup (then the Absa Cup), was in 2006, but Vermezovic dismisses talk that there is undue pressure on his team to achieve cup glory in 2011.
“Chiefs always want to win trophies. There is no extra pressure (in the Nedbank Cup). There is a lot of pressure in the PSL – though it’s not pressure, its responsibility – we are not only responsible for our families.
Despite an injury concern to Siphiwe Tshabalala, Vermezovic says that the Bafana Bafana star will be fit to play on Sunday.
Baroka coach Chokoe has a full strength squad at his disposal.-PSL Website