ORLANDO Pirates have one last chance to rescue their disastrous season – by winning the Nedbank Cup on Saturday.
Bucs face holders SuperSport United in a repeat of last year’s showpiece at Durban’s Moses Mabhida Stadium (8.15pm), having lost 3-2 to Matsatsantsa a Pitori in last year’s final of the same competition.
But this time the under siege Bucs players are determined to end what was their worst season in years by winning the cup.
Bucs skipper Oupa Manyisa admitted the past season was a write-off but told the fans: “It’s not a nice feeling. We know where we went wrong. I promise the fans we will rectify those mistakes.
“We want to lift the trophy. We don’t intend going home sad. There is a new positive spirit in the camp.”
Manyisa said Saturday’s showpiece would give the players a chance at redemption and qualifying for the Caf Confederation Cup: “We sat down knowing where we went wrong. We lost a lot of games we should have won. We are ready, have prepared well – and the added incentive is winning a trophy and playing in Africa again.”
The cup winner qualifies for the Confed Cup.
Bucs reached the final in 2015.
Manyisa said the month-long break had not affected player fitness. United have been in action in the Confed Cup and played DR Congo giants and holders TP Mazembe last night.
The 28-year-old Mohlakeng-born midfielder said Pirates would heed their coach Kjell Jonevret’s advice: “The coach told us not to panic but to go out and enjoy ourselves.”
Meanwhile, defender Abbubaker Mobara, one of the few players to have had a decent season with Pirates, said he had an extra incentive to win on Saturday.
Explained Mobara: “I was thrilled to be called up by new Bafana Bafana head coach Stuart Baxter and play in the friendly against Zambia.
“The fact that Stuart will be on the SuperSport bench for the last time will inspire me to impress him. With Stuart watching I will have more energy and much to prove to him.”
This will be Baxter’s last game as United mentor. He has already taken charge of Bafana and the United players have promised to win the cup to give him a good send-off.