Chippa vow to play it smart
Chilli Boys out to teach Clever Boys a lesson again after cup victory
Chippa United coach Clinton Larsen said his team will start with a clean slate against Bidvest Wits when the sides lock horns in an Absa Premiership fixture at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Friday night (kick-off 8pm).
The Port Elizabeth-based side knocked the Clever Boys out of the Nedbank Cup at the quarterfinal recently and will be hoping for a similar outcome on Friday.
But this time around Larsen is keeping his cards close to his chest.
“We are happy that we have an injury-free team and also no suspensions so we are going to be at full strength,” said Larsen.
“Firstly, I would not want to give too much away in terms of our tactics and in terms of team selection.
“But our approach will not change. We always play the same way, we always try to win football games and it’s going to be the same thing against them this time around.
“It’s going to be very difficult. This is the only trophy they have got to play for. So they are giving it their all just to keep in the title run.
“So we know it is going to be very difficult but like I said, we have beaten some of the top teams and the belief within in the team is growing.
“We are all looking forward to this game.”
Asked if perhaps having beaten Wits in the cup has provide the team with some comfort or ease of mind heading into Friday’s game, the coach replied: “No, we take each game with its own merit. We are not looking too much into what we have done in the past.
“We just have to focus on every game that is in front of us and right now all our focus is only on Wits.
“We want to make sure we are well-prepared and from what I have seen at training the players are.”
Of the 11 games the team have played under Larsen’s leadership, Chippa have lost only two matches. The Chilli Boys are 13th on the log with 24 points from 25 matches but are still not out of the woods.
They are level on points with relegation playoff candidates Free State Stars but better off on goal difference.
Chippa skipper Mark Mayambela said his side’s good run in the cup and league has led to a high morale within the team.
“Especially with how we have been playing now and the games that we have been winning it automatically boosts the confidence of the players, the team and the spirit of the team,” he said.
“You can see now the players have that belief that they can win games, especially against these so-called big teams. We have managed to do that before.”..