Orlando Pirates midfield kingpin, Oupa Manyisa said his wounded side would look to redeem their pride in the Premiership clash against Golden Arrows at Orlando Stadium on Wednesday.
Pirates, who won the Telkom Knockout trophy two weeks ago, were off the boil in their 1-0 loss away to Bloemfontein Celtic at the weekend.
With 21 points after 14 rounds of games, the Buccaneers need the three points in their last match of the year to keep them within touching distance of the leaders.
“Our focus is to go on the pitch and fight for maximum points, and get nothing less than a victory over Arrows,” Manyisa told his club’s website.
“Besides improving our log position, it will definitely restore the Buccaneers’ pride.”
Manyisa said Celtic made the most of their chances, which were on offer in their previous fixture, while he added that the hot conditions also contributed to their fifth defeat of the campaign.
“The difference between Celtic and us is that they took their chances,” he said.
“I don’t want to seem like I’m making excuses as to why we lost but I think the heat really affected us.”
Pirates coach Julio Leal also promised a fight against Arrows after their Celtic defeat.
“We will continue with our work and I promise that it will be a big fight against Arrows,” Leal said.
Golden Arrows also come off a defeat, losing 1-0 to Ajax Cape Town, where coach Muhsin Ertugral’s outfit had to do without the experienced core group of Dillon Sheppard and Robyn Johannes to injury and Collins Mbesuma and Joseph Musonda to suspension.
The Turkish mentor still felt they could have come off with a victory had Abafana Bes’thende been sharper in front of goal.
“We had some good opportunities to score, a disallowed goal and some error in precision and decision taking in front of the goal,” said Ertugral.
“Still, the performance of the team gives us the belief in the teams’ ability. We are looking forward to an exciting game against Pirates, our last before the festive break.”
Meanwhile, high-flying Mamelodi Sundowns travel to Phuthaditjaba to meet plucky Free State Stars while SuperSport United is at home to Celtic in Atteridgeville.
Bidvest Wits take on Platinum Stars at Bidvest Stadium, Ajax Cape Town host Black Leopards at Cape Town Stadium with Moroka Swallows lining up against Maritzburg United at Dobsonville Stadium.
These are the final league fixtures until February 18, with the league taking a recess for next year’s Africa Cup of Nations. — Sapa