Orlando Pirates are braced for the unique challenges of facing Jwaneng Galaxy in Gaborone, according to assistant coach Fadlu Davids.
With a place in the group stages of the Caf Confederation Cup up for grabs, Pirates are eager to get something out of their trip to Botswana to set up the second leg at home.
Orlando Pirates up for the fight
Orlando Pirates will have to rise to the challenge of playing in the searing heat of Gaborone with the pitch also being highlighted as challenge for the visitors.
“It is always good to get a feel of the pitch, the conditions, the climate and what we are going to be facing on Sunday against Jwaneng Galaxy,” Davids told Pirates’ media.
Davids says that Pirates have had ample time to prepare but admitted the players have struggled to acclimatise.
“As compared to our previous games, we had four days to prepare so the players are quite fresh,” the Orlando Pirates second-in-charge said.
“We are just getting used to the heat, getting used to the pitch which is not what we are used to. The players are ready. We are up for it.”
Everybody needs good neighbours
Galaxy were dumped out of the Caf Champions League at the final playoff stage by Mamelodi Sundowns, who beat them 2-0 in Gaborone before wrapping up the tie with a 3-1 triumph in Tshwane, but Davids believes they are a side who cannot be looked past.
Orlando Pirates are expecting a physical contest from the hosts, who will try to prevent the Buccaneers from getting a rhythm to their passing through midfield.
“We know we are coming for a fight. You know they are a physical side and we are up for it to get a good result in this away leg. The plan is to attack and we can’t play this match hoping to get a zero-zero draw or concede.”
Orlando Pirates chase away goal
Davids echoed head coach Josef Zinnbauer’s sentiment that Orlando Pirates need to be positive and come out looking for that all-important away goal.
“We have to go and try to score because it is very important to get that away goal or more. So our plan is to definitely go out there and take the game to them.”
Orlando Pirates face Jwaneng Galaxy at the Botswana National Stadium from 15:00 on Sunday 14 February.