The Buccaneers legend is looking forward to an exciting Soweto Derby but warns his former team of being complacent
‘Tebza Ngwana’ believes the team seen as underdogs is usually capable of causing an upset in the derby whilst also saying the clash is not a German affair as Ernst Middendorp is set to cross paths with countryman Josef Zinnbauer.
On the other hand, the former Gaziantepspor midfielder urges his former side to rectify their errors which they committed against Bidvest Wits in the Nedbank Cup a few weeks ago.
“It’s always wise to say that the current form is thrown out of the window in the Soweto Derby. I can tell you about our game where we were looking to defend the treble a few seasons ago,” Moloi told Goal.
“We faced Santos away in Cape Town on Wednesday night and we lost the match 3-1, many read the scoreline to say we could lose the derby but we managed to come back against Chiefs at the weekend. I would like to tell the guys to learn from that game because it’s a perfect example that a derby can’t be predicted or determined by a previous result.
“Happy Jele is the right man and leader to ensure the guys are switched on. He can tell them about that match and I’m sure they won’t just undermine Chiefs by looking at their recent performances.
“In my opinion, Pirates are capable of taking the full three points from Chiefs but it’s very important to say they can’t be complacent on the day. It’s all about who wants it the most and having the right application on the day.
“As many believed that we would lose to Chiefs after losing to Santos, we actually surprised them on the day and we beat them. My best advice for them is to respect a wounded team and learn from their loss to Wits.”
Speaking about the fact that the two German managers are set to lock horns for the first time in the Premier Soccer League (PSL), the 51-year-old legend has a different view, whilst seeing it as a purely South African contest where tactics do not determine the outcome of the clash.
“Look, it may be a battle of two German coaches but we need to remember these are two big South African clubs,” he added.
“The derby belongs to us as South Africans and the two coaches can have an influence but their significance is only limited. To me, it’s 10% for them and 90% depends on how the payers perform on the field of play.
“Both teams have the bragging rights, the culture and have to perform to ensure the magnitude of the game remains a great spectacle and it lives it to the standard it deserves.
“It’s all about individual brilliance on the day and not what the coaches have planned tactically. You will remember the days of Jabu (Pule) Mahlangu, Steve Lekoelea, we used to see battles between Doctor Khumalo, Teboho Moloi and the likes of Jomo Sono or Ace Ntsoelengoe.
“These are the players that were expected to do the business and were known for making the game an exciting spectacle. In my opinion, this is not a German affair. You can ask JZ (Zinnbauer) if he knows Jomo Sono against Ace or the likes of Webster Lichaba…he can’t tell you a thing about them.”
Reminiscing about the 2006 Absa Cup clash where they lost to the Naturena-based club on penalties, the Soweto-based legend has called for a clash where the fans can have good memories, saying the derby shouldn’t produce dull moments.
“I can tell you that we faced Chiefs back in 2006 when Middendorp was in charge of Chiefs, we faced them in the Absa Cup (Nedbank Cup) but we surprised them because he wanted to catch us on a counter-attack,” he continued.
“Yes we lost the game on penalties and I still remember my fault as an interim coach was not to plan and practice taking penalties because I don’t remember Pirates losing a cup game on penalties. We used to fight and wrap up our games in the 90 minutes.
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“Even if the scoreline is marginal, people would love to see an open affair. People want to see attacks and more attacking football.
“The point I’m trying to make is that if JZ tries to adapt to their German mentality, then everything might fall apart because he has started well by using Orlando Pirates’ style and methods. This is a South African derby, the Germans have the likes of Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich where German rivalry is at play.
“This game is for people. I want to see an open game where we will see goals and the fans see value for their money. This game will be watched by millions of people around the world and the supporters must enjoy the game and be proud of our culture.”