Saturday Nov 02, 2019. 11:00
Orlando Pirates coach Rhulani Mokwena has drifted away from mind games as he prepares for this afternoon’s Soweto Derby clash against Kaizer Chiefs in Durban.
The Buccaneers will take on their rivals for a place in the Telkom Knockout semifinals at Moses Mabhida Stadium, a venue where they beat the very same opponents in the very same competition 12 months ago.
A lot has changed, though, since then and Pirates head into this weekend’s clash as the underdogs.
Mokwena had nothing but praise for Amakhosi head coach Ernst Middendorp, having been far less complementary of the German’s predecessor at Naturena, Giovanni Solinas.
“A top coach. A very‚ very strong personality. And I think that’s why you get a lot of coaches responding to him the way they do‚” Mokwena said about his opposite number.
“A good tactician. His teams are always posing a lot of tactical and technical scenarios during 90 minutes.
“I think he’s a coach who’s very clued up in the way he wants his teams to play.
“If you look at the ways his teams have always played – Maritzburg United‚ Free State Stars‚ Golden Arrows‚ the Chiefs of the past and this Chiefs – there are a lot of similarities with regards to his game methodology.
“So‚ ja‚ he’s a good coach and one who we respect a lot. And one who has done well for his team,” he added.