Cardoso ready for Derby

Kaizer Chiefs defender Daniel Cardoso knows the importance of this Saturday’s Absa Premiership clash for Chiefs when they face familiar foes Orlando Pirates at FNB Stadium at 15:30.

The defender says he looks forward to getting Amakhosi’s title aspirations back on track with what would be a morale boosting win in the Soweto Derby against Pirates. Cardoso who has played against Pirates in four league Derbies for Chiefs knows all about the history and importance of this fixture and would like nothing more than to complete a league double over Pirates. Chiefs have already triumphed over the Buccaneers in the earlier league meeting this season, winning 3-2.

He was frank in his assessment of the game and did not hold back when talking up the importance of Saturday’s game. “This game is very vital for us as it is against a fellow league contender. If they win, they close the gap on us, so we are well aware of what is at stake,” he says. “That is why we have been working hard all week long to ensure that we come out with a positive result.”

The defender who has played every minute of each of Chiefs’ 20 league games this season, is not tiring in his pursuit to ensure that Chiefs end the season on a positive note.

“Coming off a loss, we know we have to bounce back,” he emphasises. “We have the fans behind us, we have led the log standings from the start, and we don’t want it to slip away from us. So, we will do all we can to ensure we make the fans happy on Saturday.”

The Derby is the highlight of the season for the fans with bragging rights up for grabs. Cardoso who has featured in five Derbies against Pirates, knows the importance of this game to the fans as well as how to succeed in this fixture especially when the odds are against you.

“You need a strong mindset for this game,” adds Cardoso. “There are more than 85 000 people in the stadium and with millions watching on television.  The pressure is already there. If you add more, you get wary and don’t play your best football. If we block everything out and focus at the task at hand, we will play our best. I am confident we will get the job done.”

Cardoso has scored in his last three Soweto Derby games against the Sea Robbers including in two games this season – a Telkom Knockout Cup quarterfinal clash which Chiefs eventually won on penalties after the game ended 2-2 and the earlier league meeting in November. He relishes playing in this fixture given the history and rivalry of the two teams.

“I always look forward to the Derby and I always like to score in this game.  I want to score again,” he says with a smile. “it is my objective to always score for the team. If I can score and help the team win that would be great. But being part of this occasion and doing well for the team is very important.”

Cardoso feels that Chiefs need their fans behind them on Saturday as their 12th man in the stands as this will give them the lift they need. He urges the fans to back every guy in the team as the fans’ support will help Chiefs achieve their goals this season. And ensure that the 2019-20 season turns out to be a joyous one for Amakhosi.

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