Kaizer Chiefs coach Arthur Zwane.
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- Kaizer Chiefs head coach Arthur Zwane has urged his players to ‘focus’ ahead of the Soweto derby.
- Zwane says previous form counts for nothing in the Soweto derby.
- This will be the first sold-out crowd since the Covid-19 pandemic started back in 2020.
Kaizer Chiefs head coach Arthur Zwane has urged his players to avoid listening to the outside noise and to “focus on the game” ahead of the Soweto derby on Saturday.
This will be Zwane’s first Soweto derby as coach, and with it being a sold-out crowd for the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic, he is hoping the occasion won’t get to his players.
“When these two giants meet, it’ s a totally different ball game altogether,” Zwane told reporters on Thursday.
“I’ll advise our boys to just focus on the game. It’s one of the biggest games, but you need to relax, don’t listen to what is happening out there.
“Yes, people will always have something to say, that is the nature of football in our country. There are those who say a lot of positive things but also those who show a little bit of doubts in you.
“But it’s how you rise to the occasion on the day of the game. I know that most of them are, they look okay, even at training, because I had to play that part to make them feel relaxed and be calm and just to focus on the job at hand, which is the big one that is coming up over the weekend.”
With Amakhosi sitting in fifth place, one point behind their opponents, Zwane says there are three points on the line, as well as bragging rights.
“It’s a big one definitely, we all know that. There are bragging rights that we also want to protect and there is also three points at stake. We really want to win this game. I for one as a coach think it will be good for me to win my first derby.”
Zwane will head into the game under increasing pressure following Chiefs’ elimination in the MTN8 semi-final against AmaZulu last week.
Jose Riveiro’s Pirates enter as slight favourites following consecutive wins against Golden Arrows and Mamelodi Sundowns. Despite Pirates heading into the game in better shape, Zwane believes it does not matter because form goes out the window when these two sides meet.
“When Chiefs and Pirates meet, previous form counts for nothing. What matters most is on the day of the game… it’s who is going to be in charge of the game, who is going to dictate terms, who is going to take goal scoring opportunities that will created on the day,” concluded Zwane.
Kick-off is at 15:30 on Saturday.