'We’re going to war‚' says Buchanan ahead of TKO showdown against Sundowns
Underdogs Maritzburg United have ruled out the possibility of freezing when they face favourites Mamelodi Sundowns in the final of the Telkom Knockout at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on Saturday.
Maritzburg are on the verge of winning their first piece of silverware in their history and midfielder Keagan Buchanan‚ who has battled a few career-threatening injuries to be part of coach Eric Tinkler’s team‚ has dismissed suggestions that the KwaZulu-Natal side could be overawed by the occasion.
“No I don’t think so‚” said Buchanan when asked about the possibility of some of his teammates allowing the nerves to get the better of them against the more illustrious Sundowns.
“I feel like we’ll give Sundowns the respect (they deserve) because they’ve got a little bit more experience in the sense of cup experience and so forth.
“But in a game like this you don’t really need motivation. It’s a final against a big team.
“It’s a chance for players to prove themselves‚ prove their worth and show that they deserve a trophy.
“In saying that‚ there’s no stage fright.
"If you look at our team most of the guys are vastly experienced.
"I don’t think there will be any stage fright.
"I think there will be more excitement than anything else.”
Buchanan made his PSL debut at Bloemfontein Celtic in the 2013-14 campaign and he made 21 league appearances in a season that displayed his true talents.
A knee injury in December 2015 put his career on hold for a long period before he surfaced at Kaizer Chiefs in the 2016/17 season where he only featured in six league matches.
Buchanan’s stay at Chiefs was also blighted by injuries and a loss of form.
He only played three league matches in 2017-18 before moving to Maritzburg at the beginning of last season where he featured in just two league matches before injuries again put his career on hold.
The 27-year-old Cape Town-born attacking midfielder has started this brightly after recovering‚ with one cup and seven league matches under his belt.
“Coming from injuries is never easy‚” said Buchanan.
“Luckily I have the support of the team.
"The club has been amazing in supporting me and not putting me under pressure‚ and just being there for me.
“The chairman always says that ‘I just want to get you to your best or even better’.
“So it was a bit of an effort to get back into the team.
"We have a very competitive team but I think I have played about four 90 minutes in a row now‚ so I’m getting back on myself and obviously feeling confident.
“At the end of the day‚ all I just want to do is to contribute to the team as much as possible.”
Buchanan said Saturday’s final will be won on grit and determination of those who’ll show more hunger.
“We’re going to war‚” said Buchanan.
“Both teams have quality players and quality coaches. So it’s all about who wants it more.
“We have the hunger of not having won a cup. There’s a reason why we went through fighting relegation last season to the final this season.
“I feel like come Saturday‚ we can just show that we want it more.”