Former Orlando Pirates midfielder Helman Mkhalele believes the Telkom Knockout Cup quarter-final clash against Kaizer Chiefs will be an interesting affair.
The Soweto giants are set to face-off as they battle for a spot in the semi-finals, but ‘Midnight Express’ has warned the Buccaneers to fix their defensive problems as soon as possible because Chiefs are dangerous up front.
Moreover, Mkhakele hopes striker Thembinkosi Lorch remains consistent after netting the goal against Stellenbosch FC on Saturday evening.
“It’s a very interesting clash because Pirates are playing good football, they are attacking and scoring goals but are not doing well at the back,” Mkhalele told Goal.
“On the opposite side, Chiefs is very disciplined at the back and it will be very interesting to see who will come out tops.
“We all know that coach Rhulani (Mokwena) also expressed delight that they won without conceding last weekend. He was happy and I hope they remain solid at the back especially going into this game.
“It was his concern and that makes it more interesting to see who will take it. However, it will depend on which team wants it the most and which one is motivated on the day.”
Speaking about the reigning Premier Soccer League (PSL) Player of the Season and Player’s Player of the Season, Mkhalele has credited Lorch for his contribution in their win over Stellies.
“Lorch played well in his last game and it’s a matter of seeing him delivering consistent performances,” continued Mkhalele.
“That’s the big question, that will he maintain the consistency and score goals as he did against Stellenbosch.
“He’s a great player there’s no doubt about that and I would love to see him taking his performance to the next level. It’s very important to remain consistent and work hard to become the Lorch we all know.”
Taking a look at the previous season, the 2011/12 TKO Cup champions bagged a 2-1 win at Moses Mabhida Stadium in the semi-finals and the Bafana Bafana legend stated the clash came at the right time.
“I would say one of the teams will not win the trophy as things stand and one of them stands a good chance of lifting it, that’s the reality and either way the fixture had to come," he continued.
“We all know both teams are dying to win something this season and I think the clash came at the right time because they are doing well.
“They are stable compared to last season, it’s very interesting which one will go through. I think the difference will be the hunger and will to win it, who wants it more and which coach has a better plan on the day."