KAIZER Chiefs midfielder Willard Katsande believes winning Saturday’s Soweto Derby will further underline their title credentials and eliminate any title hopes that Orlando Pirates may be clinging on to.
Katsande feels that after making a rather slow start in 2015, Chiefs need to make a bold statement when they square off against their bitter rivals this weekend.
The Zimbabwean says the little hope that the Buccaneers may still be holding onto in the current title race will evaporate with a defeat to Amakhosi on Saturday, as the gap between the two teams will stretch to 17 points with just eight games remaining.
“It is very important for us to get maximum points in this game,” Katsande tells Kickoff.com.
“A win will obviously align with the title target that we have, while also pushing the opposition further away from us.
“Just as much as winning every game is crucial, winning the derby brings more joy; so for us we will be going all out for a win, especially considering that we are playing at home.
“Remember, since the turn of the New Year, we have had a slow start in the league, with a draw and a defeat; with last night’s (Wednesday) result being our first win, we need to further emphasise our intentions by taking all three points against Pirates.
“The win over Ajax Cape Town was actually a huge confidence boost ahead of this game because, had we not won, a lot of noise would have been made about our form.
“So come Saturday we just need to apply ourselves and try as much as possible to execute the coach’s game plan; get all three points and then move on,” adds the Zimbabwean international.
The 29 year-old also understands the significance of this match – which dwarfs even the biggest football match that he grew up knowing about back home – between eternal enemies Highlanders and Dynamos.
“You can easily say you are used to it but this is a derby and it will be fireworks with 90 minutes of running,” he says.
“This is an interesting game that, when you retire, you will always want to look back at with pride and tell your kids and family that I was involved in such a high profile game.Advertisement
“Even back home they know that this is an important fixture, with even some of my friends supporting the opposition (Pirates), because back home we also have a popular team Highlanders that wear the same colours as them.
“Even when I was growing up I used to hear about this derby, so to be part of it now is like living your dream,” he adds.
Luckily for Katsande he has laid down the rules amongst his immediate family about the choice of team to be supported, come Saturday afternoon.
“My family knows where the bread is buttered so that is not even a matter of discussion,” chuckles the Amakhosi stalwart.
Saturday: Kaiser Chiefs v Orlando Pirates, Supersport United v Ajax Cape Town, Free State Stars, Mamelodi Sundowns, Black Aces v Amazulu
Sunday: Platinum Stars v Moroka Swallows, Pretoria University v Maritzburg