By AMOGELANG RAMELA
ORLANDO Pirates have laid their 3-0 defeat away to Santos last night to rest and are now focusing on Saturday’s derby match against traditional arch-rivals Kaizer Chiefs.
Stand-in coach, August Palacious said the loss to the Cape side was unfortunate and he will not allow that to take focus away from them as they prepare for Chiefs. For the record, Pirates’ downfall down in Cape Town was orchestrated by Erwin Isaacs who scored the first goal in the first half before Eleazar Rodgers could sealed the victory for the People’s Team with a brace in the second half.
“The loss away to Santos is now water under the bridge and now we are wrestling all our muscles on the Saturday match against Chiefs. We know Chiefs very well and we don’t need any special training in preparations for this match,” said Palacious who is arguably one mentor who knows Pirates’ culture after having served the club over the past 17 years.
Judging by the way he was enjoying the company of two of his best players, Moneeb Josephs and Andile Jali whom he was freely chatting and laughing with during the process of the pre-match press conference this afternoon, Palacious is seems to be the favourable man among the Pirates players.
Chiefs have not kicked the ball in the past two weeks in an official match after their scheduled match against Ajax Cape Town this week in Polokwane was postponed.
Head coach, Vladimir Vermezovic who was accompanied by Itumeleng Khune and Sphiwe Tshabalala said that is not much of a concerned as his charges have been doing well at training in terms of preparations for this match.
“Our main focus here is the Saturday match against Pirates, and I am happy with the way players have been responding at traing,” said Vermezovic who roamers are that he is likely to be replaced by Steve Komphela at the end of the current season.
Last year the two sides met four times with Pirates winning 1-0 (league, July 21) and 4-3 on penalties (Carling Black Label Cup, July 31) while Chiefs won only once, a 2-1 (league, September 17). The other match ended in a 1-1 draw (league, February 11).