SUPERSPORT United coach Kaitano Tembo says he will use a cautious approach when his charges tackle Soweto giants Orlando Pirates in an Absa Premiership match at Orlando Stadium on Saturday.
Tembo is aware Bucs will come to them with guns blazing, aiming to heal the wounds of getting booted from the MTN8 Cup by United.
Matsatsantsa a Pitori have had a great start to the season, as they also knocked out Pirates’ rivals Kaizer Chiefs 3-2 on aggregate in a two-legged semifinal to reach the Wafa Wafa final.
This will be an interesting game, considering Pirates are two points behind SuperSport with seven points from five games, although the Tshwane outfit has a game in hand.
The teams drew goalless in their two league fixtures last season.
Said Tembo: “This won’t be an easy one. Due to the Fifa break we’ve had seven players away on national duty – Evan Rusike is with the Zimbabwean side, Ghampani Lungu is on duty for Zambia and we also have five Bafana Bafana players (Aubrey Modiba, Dean Furman, Ronwen Williams, Teboho Mokoena and Bradley Grobler). I am not sure in what condition the players will be when they return, so we will need to assess them first today and tomorrow to see who is available.”
However, he emphasised that they won’t change the approach that has brought so much joy to their fans.
“We’ve had enough time to recharge our batteries, our approach will be the same. The fact that we’ve beaten them doesn’t change things. Pirates are a good team, they play possession football well. We need to be careful when we move without the ball because that’s key. We also need to work on pressing.”
However, Tembo has warned his players to keep their feet firmly on the ground – the season is still long.
“I preach the same sermon – we have a long season ahead. We’ve only played a few games. They need to stay focused, take it game by game and don’t look back on past matches.”
United will be without striker Thabo Mnyamane, who’ve only recently started jogging as he recovers from injury, while defender Onismore Bhasera is doing light training after coming down with a fever.