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Telkom Knockout Cup: Mamelodi Sundowns and Kaizer Chiefs are placing pressure on Orlando Pirates – Lekoelea

10:28 PM SGT 15/10/19
Steve Lekoelea of Orlando Pirates
The retired dribbling wizard has shared his thoughts on the upcoming TKO Cup Last 16 clash against Stellies

Ex-Orlando Pirates midfielder Steve Lekoela has backed his former side to overcome Stellenbosch FC in the Telkom Knockout Cup match on Saturday.

‘Chippa’ has urged the Soweto giants to take it one game at a time and explained it is too early to talk about reaching the final whilst acknowledging the fans are facing pressure from their Mamelodi Sundowns and Kaizer Chiefs counterparts.

Rhulani Mokwena’s side is struggling in the Premier Soccer League (PSL) and Lekoelea has called for a quick turnaround strategy from the technical team because the supporters are not patient.

“It’s going to be a tough game because they are coming to Orlando Stadium after getting their first win in the league. They will look to keep Pirates under pressure from the first whistle,” Lekoelea told Goal.

“They know Pirates is under pressure and their mission will be to press and attack, and score an early goal. I expect both teams to play with speed and adopt an all-out attack approach because it is a knockout game.

“Stellenbosch will want to cause an upset, but Pirates have an advantage at home and they have to deliver because the supporters are facing pressure from their rivals such as Kaizer Chiefs and Mamelodi Sundowns.

"It's also fair to say Pirates are experienced in the top-flight and they have been in the PSL for many years and they have played so many Cup games compared to Stellenbosch.”

Under coach Milutin Sredojevic, Pirates reached the 2018 final where they lost to Baroka FC, but the retired dribbling wizard wants the side to take it one game at a time.

“It’s too early to talk about reaching the final. Let’s just see how they start this weekend and then we shall see if they advance to the next round,” he continued.

“They have to take it one game at a time because you cannot undermine your opponents and talk about reaching the final. It’s good to have that ambition, but we have to be realistic.

“On the other hand, coach Rhulani has not found stability in the team especially at the back where I think they are conceding goals, but let’s hope they will come back an improved side after the Fifa break.”

Speaking about the approach in the Cup competitions compared to the league, the former Bafana Bafana midfielder wants to see goals from Pirates strikers.

“The approach is simple, they must score goals because there is no need for good football in Cup games. You just need to score and reach the next round and it doesn't matter how you do it," he added.

“Good football and possession can help in the league if you want to play for a point and not to win, but here the supporters need a win.

“Coach Rhulani must select his best eleven and I think this break will help him to do that because my fear is that Pirates fans are not patient. Remember Pirates is a big team and they just need results now, at least the coach should be settled by now for him to instil his winning mentality and philosophy.”