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’The Nedbank Cup is our last chance at a trophy this season,’ says Supersport’s Kaitano Tembo

FILE - SuperSport United head coach Kaitano Tembo reacts during a DStv Premiership game against Cape Town City at Lucas Moripe Stadium. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

FILE - SuperSport United head coach Kaitano Tembo reacts during a DStv Premiership game against Cape Town City at Lucas Moripe Stadium. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Published Jan 13, 2022

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Durban — SuperSport United Coach, Kaitano Tembo has reminded his troops that the Nedbank Cup is the last piece of available silverware this season and has his team fired up for their clash with Maritzburg United.

The Nedbank Cup last 32 fixtures were drawn on Wednesday afternoon and Matsatsantsa's match against the Team Of Choice is just one of four all Premier Soccer League (PSL) clashes.

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Tembo believes his side is well-prepared and highly motivated by the prospect of winning the Nedbank Cup, a trophy they haven’t won since 2017.

“We haven’t been able to go past the first round of the Nedbank Cup in the past two seasons, so we want to change that. We feel we have an opportunity to fight for the only cup that is left to realistically fight for now,” he said

“We know it’s not gonna be an easy game, considering we’re gonna play them first in a DStv Premiership match when we return, but I am confident we will get the result and progress to the next round.”

Tembo has every reason to be optimistic about this encounter having bossed the fixture for the longest time. Supersport have won seven of their last nine games against Maritzburg United , two of those finishing in stalements. But Supersport’s total of 15 goals in these matches deems them the favourites.

The Pretoria based side’s preparation for the second round of competition in both the league and Nedbank Cup will be put to the test with very little competitive football being played over the Africa Cup Of Nations(AFCON) period.

“Playing after a long break is always difficult because all you’re involved in is friendly games and those don’t match up to competitive games in terms of intensity and that competitive edge. We can only find out in the first game we play when we return how far we are with our fitness,” he explained.

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“We are very lucky to have just two of our players competing at the AFCON, so the rest of our players have been working together and working hard.”

Supersport have enjoyed great success in this competition in recent years and their senior players can draw strength from their memorable 4-1 thrashing of Orlando Pirates in their 2017 triumph.

Tembo has highlighted the importance of having the right mentality going into their Last 32 encounter with Middendorp’s charges..

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“The game against Maritzburg is a cup game and so we must treat it as such. There’s no second chance back after the match, you lose, you're out.

“But we have experience when it comes to playing these types of games and when the time is right , we will be ready.”

@SmisoMsomi16

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