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Sredojevic ponders Sangweni return, Komphela guards against complacency

21:36 EAT 19/10/2017
Micho Sredojevic and Steve Komphela - Orlando Pirates v Kaizer Chiefs
The two Soweto giants will battle it out in a league match at the FNB Stadium this weekend

Orlando Pirates coach Milutin Sredojevic has confirmed that midfielder Thamsanqa Sangweni is in contention for Saturday's Soweto Derby clash against Kaizer Chiefs

The 28-year-old has been out of action over the past few weeks with a knee injury, but while he's available for selection, the Pirates mentor said he will consider his match fitness before deciding whether or not to play him. 

Micho admitted that Sangweni's absence has been a massive blow for his team, but he believes they have enough players in his position to win matches. 

“We’ll monitor the state of every player and definitely Sangweni is among those players we’ll consider for this match if he’s fit and ready‚” Sredojevic told the media on Thursday.

“Sangweni is still in the process of returning‚ he’s in contention. We shall see whether a match of this magnitude is the right one to bring him back. But we know he’s a player with a big heart‚ top class and could add value for us in the derby,” he said. 

“We’ve registered enough players so that we have cover in case of injuries like we’ve had in Sangweni’s case. It is challenging‚ yes‚ but I can never be a cry-baby. We must always look to find the solutions and possibilities in other players," added Sredojevic. 

Meanwhile, Steve Komphela was in a bullish mood ahead of the encounter, but he warned his Amakhosi stars to guard against complacency, especially after beating Mamelodi Sundowns on Tuesday night. 

“There’s a fine line between arrogance and confidence – we need to stay confident without being too arrogant,” said Komphela. 

“It was a nice confidence boost winning a match, but again, we said it when we went to Baroka – they wanted it more and they got it. When we went to Sundowns, we wanted it more and we got it," continued Komphela. 

“We’ll go to Pirates and we need to have the same feeling, because if you think otherwise then you’ll have problems, and we don’t want to go through problems," said the former Bafana Bafana captain. 

Since Komphela took over at Chiefs in 2015, Pirates have had five different coaches in Eric Tinkler, Muhsin Ertugral, Augusto Palacios, Kjell Jonevret and now Sredojevic.

And perhaps the 50-year-old tactician considers himself fortunate to still be part of the Soweto Derby even without winning major silverware for Chiefs.  

“I don’t know how many colleagues [Pirates coaches] I have sat here with [for Soweto Derby press conferences]. I have seen them come and go,” he added.