Sandilands: The focus has to be on three points, not the occasion

Orlando Pirates goalkeeper Wayne Sandilands says the focus ahead of Saturday's derby has to be on the three points 'We have to try to treat it as a match of three points available to us. The focus has to be on that and not so much on the occasion'

2020-02-27 01:35:00 PM

Orlando Pirates goalkeeper Wayne Sandilands says the focus ahead of Saturday's derby has to be on the three points 'We have to try to treat it as a match of three points available to us. The focus has to be on that and not so much on the occasion'

While it is not really clear on who between Itumeleng Khune and Daniel Akpeyi will man the goal for Kaizer Chiefs on Saturday, it is almost a given that Orlando Pirates goalkeeper Wayne Sandilands will feature in his third Soweto derby this season.

While the two games are rated the best Soweto derbies in recent memory, it was a week to forget for the 36-year-old, who was beaten five times, including during the penalty shootout in the TKO eliminator.“As difficult as it may be, we are trying to treat this Saturday as a normal match, we know what it means to the supporters; we know the importance of the game, currently with the league standings,” said the goalminder from Benoni, Ekurhuleni.

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All eyes will be on this game but for us as professionals we have try and treat it as a match of three points available to us“All eyes will be on this game but for us as professionals we have try and treat it as a match of three points available to us. The focus has to be on that and not so much on the occasion.”

Sandilands nonetheless added that the preparations had gone well for the fixture that pits the log leaders, Chiefs, against Pirates, who are six points adrift on third spot.“We haven’t done anything different from what we do week in, week out. I’m just looking forward to the game on Saturday.”

A win for the Buccaneers will narrow the gap to three points and this will draw defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns into the picture as the Tshwane are four points off Chiefs.Meanwhile, Pirates assistant coach Fadlu Davids predicts that Chiefs will turn to Akpeyi in goal on Saturday despite the Nigerian international being vilified for a costly mistake that lead to Amakhosi’s 2-1 defeat to Martizburg United last week.

Apart from the howler, Akpeyi has been in good form and his regular run in goal has contributed to Chiefs commanding a healthy lead.“It’s quite clear; they have a number one and it’s Akpeyi. I don’t think they will change‚” he saidKhune marked his eagerly awaited return to action this month when he featured in Chiefs’ two Nedbank Cup matches, the latest being the last 16 against Highlands Park at the weekend.

Amakhosi lost on penalties.Looking ahead to the game at FNB Stadium on Saturday, Davids concluded that: “We know the strength of the opponent – where to exploit them in terms of their weaknesses.“I think its important that we approach the week like a normal week. Knowing the importance of the game, preparations have gone well so far – tactically, preparing exactly how we want to approach the game. Chiefs are an in-form team and they have been pretty much consistent this season hence their position [on the log].

“On the other hand, do you really read into form when it comes to a derby like this? I don’t think so.Their coach is experienced enough to be calm this week. I know him quite well.I expect them playing to their strength. We have to be our best to get the three points.”

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We just need that 3 points nje, nothing much.

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