Maluleka ready to turn the tide in TKO Derby
Results in recent times have not gone Amakhosi’s way when they have come up against their historical and traditional rivals Orlando Pirates. Kaizer Chiefs midfielder George Maluleka is confident that they can get a positive result when Chiefs face Pirates in a Telkom Knockout Cup quarterfinal clash in Durban on Saturday afternoon at the Moses Mabhida Stadium.
Speaking ahead of Saturday’s crunch cup clash Maluleka says: “Pirates are very big rivals of Kaizer Chiefs and when you play against them you always want to be on the winning end.” Maluleka who has faced Pirates ten times as a Chiefs player in all competition is not getting carried away with the fact that the match is a derby and is instead remaining calm.
As he further adds: “For us it’s very important to remain focused and carry out the game plan, from the technical staff side. We cannot get ahead of ourselves. As a club as a team we have been doing very well and we just want to carry on. Because we know as a team where we are going,’ what we are doing and its always nice to win against Pirates.”
Maluleka is looking at history for inspiration to help lift him ahead of this clash, as he played a vital role when Chiefs defeated Pirates in the 2014/15 MTN8 Cup Final at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban. It was from his free kick that was headed in by Tefu Mashamaite which handed Chiefs a 1-0 win in September 2014.
On looking back at that cup final five years ago Maluleka explains: “You need to take all the positives out of matches and use them to your advantage – obviously to boost confidence. Those highlights which are still lingering in your head playing over and over, I do use them to build up positive processes.”
With Chiefs having defeated Sundowns in a top of the table clash on Sunday, Maluleka holds a view that it was the right tonic for Chiefs as they prepare for Pirates this weekend. “Overall, Sunday’s win was good for our confidence. We become more focused and as a team you know your brothers next to you got you. We are willing to fight and keep going and doing well for the club, ourselves and our fans – a huge confidence booster we just want to keep doing well”.
Chiefs now face three games in the space of a week with the upcoming cup clash against Pirates, Amakhosi will then face Chippa in a league game on the 6th November before facing Pirates again in an Absa Premiership game on the 9th November. Maluleka when questioned about the upcoming schedule was frank in his assessment and feels Chiefs will cope playing three games in a week adding, “I feel we can manage,” he says calmly.
“We have a sizeable squad, and everyone is ready to travel. Everyone knows they can contribute in these games and most of the guys going to get a run. This is what Chiefs is all about. We have all the quality players and now is also the chance for the guys who have not been playing to also prove themselves.”