Gordon Igesund: Winning the Telkom Knockout Cup will be a massive boost for Orlando Pirates

Musa Nyatama, Orlando Pirates & Willard Katsande, Kaizer Chiefs, November 2018
The former Bafana Bafana coach explained why Pirates must be wary of the giant killers

Despite heading to the Telkom Knokcout Cup final as favourites, Orlando Pirates have been warned not to take Baroka FC lightly at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Saturday.

Gordon Igesund, who won the Telkom Knockout with SuperSport United, has backed the Buccaneers to win it, but he stated that Bakgaga are also capable of winning the trophy.

“I think it's a big game for both teams. It sets the standard for different reasons and it would be good for Pirates to win it and it will motivate them going forward,” Igesund told Goal.

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“I remember coaching Pirates, we won the BP Top 8 in 2001 and we went on to challenge and win the league title,” he added.

“It will be very good for them to win the trophy on Saturday and go on to push for the championship, but Baroka are also looking at taking an opportunity for them to win, “ he warned.

“I don't think they (Baroka) are thinking about the league title and I doubt they are capable of winning it as yet, but because this is a once off opportunity for them they will challenge and give their best on this one,” said the former Pirates coach.

“They are in their first final and I think there's a possibility for them to win, but they face a very strong and an experienced team in Pirates,” observed Igesund.

'GI' also said that the underdog tag might work for coach Wedson Nyirenda and his men as they look to add Pirates in their list of victims.

Baroka defeated Mamelodi Sundowns and former champions, Bidvest Wits on their way to the final.

On the other hand, Milutin sredojevic's troops defeated Kaizer Chiefs, Chippa United and AmaZulu to reach the final as they look to end their four-year trophy drought.

“You know there are no underdogs in a cup final especially against a experienced or a fashionable side as Pirates because the stage is motivating on its own,” he continued.

“Baroka have a chance to give Pirates a tough time. It's a once off occasion for them and you can't rule that out,” said the Durban-born mentor.

“It's not easy to say there are favourites in a cup final. However, Pirates have quality, experience of playing in such games and they are doing well in the league, but it can go either way,” he said.

“They (Pirates) are always a team challenging for trophies just like Sundowns and Chiefs, but we cannot say the same thing about Baroka,” he noted.

“I am sure they will want to prove that they are capable of winning things because they have come up against big teams in Sundowns and Wits. They are not in the final by accident and I hope that Pirates will take note of that,” concluded the veteran mentor.