Orlando Pirates coach Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic has refused the notion that his team go to into Saturday’s sold-out Telkom Knockout semifinal against Kaizer Chiefs at Moses Mabhida Stadium as favourites.
With the Buccaneers having beaten Chiefs twice in the league this year‚ and Pirates’ form being overall far more convincing‚ many are tipping Bucs as the favourites for this season’s second Soweto derby.
Pirates were also convincing in that previous match-up of 2018-19‚ beating Chiefs 2-1 in the Absa Premiership at FNB Stadium on October 27 with a scoreline that flattered Amakhosi.
That much is not enough to convince Sredojevic that his team have the upper hand.
“I disagree that we are favourites‚” the coach said.
“In matches of this nature there are no favourites and it’s not a rule only here between Pirates and Chiefs – it is worldwide.
“So having that in mind‚ I think mental preparation is something that is very‚ very important for us.”
Pirates also beat Chiefs 3-1 in the league in March‚ last season‚ making it two wins for Sredojevic against Chiefs in three the league matches in which he has faced Amakhosi since returning to the Buccaneers at the start of last season.
Despite that‚ though‚ the Bucs coach insisted his team are not going to be fooled by a favourites tag in Durban.
“I don’t know why we are given the tag of the favourites because for us it is unacceptable. We don’t want to attach that tag on us‚” he said.
“I also believe Chiefs cannot accept it simply because they’ve gone through us six times in the TKO. So if they think that they are favourites we shall answer it in our own way.
“We don’t believe that we are favourites and we don’t want to be strong in talking about being that‚ but strong in presenting ourselves practically on the field on Saturday.”