Pirates aware they have to be on top of their game against Horoya away from home

14 March 2019 - 15:36 By Sazi Hadebe
Orlando Pirates' goalkeeper Wayne Sandilands is confident of progressing to the quarterfinals of the Caf Champions League.
Orlando Pirates' goalkeeper Wayne Sandilands is confident of progressing to the quarterfinals of the Caf Champions League.
Image: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Orlando Pirates will not allow themselves to fall into the trap of thinking about the quarterfinals of the Caf Champions League and prefer to rather focus their full attention on negotiating a way past Horoya SC‚ the Guinea side side they meet in their final group match in Conakry on Saturday.

Pirates goalkeeper Wayne Sandilands said they have a tough away assignment that requires their focus and they cannot look beyond their immediate challenge.

“We know that it’s going to be a very difficult game and we know we are going to have to be at our best in every aspect‚” said Sandilands‚ who alongside skipper Happy Jele and Thabo Matlaba are the only surviving members of the team that lost in the final of the Champions League against Al Ahly of Egypt in 2013.

“So look‚ it’s not impossible but we know that we have to be on top of our game and be able to handle the pressure and all that they throw at us.

“We are trying to just focus on the process and not to look too far ahead.

"We’re trying to believe that if we focus on this one‚ our processes come the end of the 90 minutes will be to win a match and progress.”

Pirates need a victory to book their place in the quarterfinals.

But playing against a team that has not lost at home in their last 20 matches in Caf competitions will be tough‚ as Sandilands conceded.

While Horoya lost 3-0 away to Pirates in their second Group B match and 2-0 away to Esperance in Tunisia last week‚ their form at home this season has seen them collect four points.

The difference for Horoya was that they collected the full spoils at home and away against the eliminated Zimbabwean club FC Platinum.

A draw for Horoya in Conakry will be enough to see them through alongside Esperance while the Bucs‚ who trail the Guinean club by one point‚ need a victory.

“I think the preparations have been good‚" added Sandilands.

"I feel good about it and about the game‚ but obviously come the day it’s not about the talk.

"It’s about doing the action.

“We don’t want to speak too much.

"We just want to focus step by step and hopefully do the talking on the field.

“Looking beyond this game and looking at what could happen and what ifs‚ I think if you try and think that way it’s dangerous for you.

“I can’t look too far ahead and as a team we can’t because that can bring the anxiety.

"It will be too much and we’d allow just too many things to happen‚ so the reality is there is a game on Saturday and we’re trying to focus on that.”