Goal spoke to the legendary shot-stopper ahead of the eagerly anticipated clash at Loftus Versfeld Stadium.
What are your thoughts on the Tshwane Derby?
Playing in the Tshwane derby is one thing that I really enjoyed. There is a lot happening and I am lucky to have played for both sides in the Tshwane Derby. You will remember we tried to catch up with Sundowns while I was with SuperSport and it was nice to be part of it.
Let’s talk about the hype around the match...
SuperSport did not have a huge fan base in the past and we would not draw massive crowds for the game compared to Sundowns. Sundowns are at the top and they enjoy a fantastic support. The Soweto Derby attracts huge crowds. So, the other derbies take the back seat when it comes to numbers of fans, who attend matches.
What is the atmosphere like on match day?
Yeah, look there is no player that wants to play a match in front of an empty stadium. With the derby the crowd was always there to give us the edge. I mean a huge crowd gives players a lift. Fortunately, I see there’s an improvement when it comes to the attendance.
Can you please share what is it like for the players from both camps ahead of the encounter...
The talk is normal and we always remind each other that we don’t want to lose to the neighbours.. We want the bragging rights and to come out victorious on the day. It intensifies as it builds up for a couple of days and we want to have pride and the supporters to wear the jersey with pride. It’s always a big occasion for the players, supporters and club.
Are there any special messages from the coaches ahead of the Tshwane Derby?
Well, look the coaches are always there to ensure that players remain level headed, not to be overawed by the occasion. The coaching staff will always try to calm the players and remind them it’s still a normal football match and get the guys in the right frame of mind.
Does the Tshwane Derby match the Soweto Derby in terms of standard?
It does not match it in terms of attendance. But from a football perspective, I think the Tshwane derby is always entertaining. We know that there will be goals because it is a typical derby match. At the end of the day, a derby has to produce goals and entertainment because you can’t go to such a match and it ends in a goalless draw.
Finally, what are your thoughts on Wednesday's match?
I think that both teams will want a win for different reasons, SuperSport want the bragging rights and Sundowns are under pressure to win and cut Pirates' lead at the top. They both have something to play for and that makes it an interesting derby. I think SuperSport will play with a relaxed mind, while the pressure is on Sundowns to get the points. So, I expect a tough and entertaining game with goals.