Posted: 19 May 2017
Golden Arrows coach Clinton Larsen has defended Nedbank Cup semi-final opponents Orlando Pirates, saying they have merely been inconsistent rather than a force in decline.
Abafana Bes’thende will host the Soweto giants on Sunday at KwaMashu’s Princess Magogo Stadium looking to advance to the final of this competitions for the first time, with the final set to take place at Moses Mabhida stadium on June 24.
The sides will also face each other in the last league match of the season on May 27 as both fight for a top eight finish this season.
Pirates are currently enduring their worst season in the club’s history since the inception of the PSL, and come into this game having gone four league matches without a win.
Larsen, who won the league title with Pirates in 2001, says signs of Pirates’ inconsistency this season have been evident but he’s fully aware that they can be dangerous when they are on form in any day.
“I wouldn’t call them a declining force but I’d say they have been inconsistent maybe – just like lot of us [other teams] have been,” Larsen tells KickOff.com.
“I think Golden Arrows can be put in that category. I don’t think we’ve been as consistent as we would’ve liked in the league but ja this is a completely different competition and they’ve [Pirates] got here because they’ve done well and played well in the cup.
“It might not be happening in the league but there’s less pressure I think in the cup and they’ve done well and we’ll give them that respect.
“We know it is a talented Pirates team and when they are on song they can be a dangerous prospect. We just have to make sure that we are prepared for the motivated Pirates team that is coming to try and salvage something out of the season, as are we.
“We want to try to get to the cup final and win this cup as well. Both teams are trying to finish the season with some silverware.”
Having defeated CAF Champions League champions Mamelodi Sundowns in the Nedbank Cup round of 16, the semi-final stage may prove too much for the youthful Arrows team but Larsen doesn’t see it that way and says his players are not showing signs of nerves ahead of the game.
“No, I think we’ve got a young group of players who have a lot of self-confidence, who thrived on the big stage, who look forward to the big games,” he added.
“I’m confident that they’ll handle the occasion without many difficulties.”
Arrows will be without suspended Danny Phiri whilst Lehlohonolo Nonyane, who played in a friendly match yesterday, will miss the game due to groin strain although he’s likely to play some minutes when these two sides play in the last league match.
Article by: Robin-Duke Madlala
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Source link : http://www.kickoff.com/news/75465/golden-arrows-coach-clinton-larsen-says-orlando-pirates-are-not-a-declining-force
Author : Robin-Duke Madlala
Publish date : 19 May 2017 | 6:38 pm