Cape Town – Santos goalkeeper Pa Dembo Touray says his team-mates must keep their focus on the ball and not on the occasion when they clash with Orlando Pirates in a Nedbank Cup last 16 encounter at Athlone Stadium on Friday night.
The Cape side, who have been campaigning in the National First Division for the last two seasons after being relegated from the top flight at the end of the 2011/ 2012 edition, will be underdogs against a Pirates outfit hungry for cup success.
“Playing in a cup game against a team from a division below you is always difficult, because they (the lower-ranked team) are highly motivated, they have nothing to lose,” the Gambian shot-stopper said on Thursday.
“Santos will come all out to play. Everyone expects us to lose, so nothing is expected of Santos.
“If we win, it's a big bonus for us.”
Going into the game as favourites could be a disadvantage to Pirates, Touray said, as they had to keep their fans happy.
“We are going to come there highly motivated and just go out there and enjoy the game and play,” said Touray, who had a successful career in Sweden before joining the Cape side three seasons ago.
“It's going to be a good game with a lot of fans out there. I hope they (Santos' young players) won't have too many nerves, because for many of them this is going to be one of their biggest games to play.
“The whole stadium is probably going to be full of Pirates supporters. So I hope they are going to be relaxed and just forget about the occasion.”
Despite experienced players such as Ricardo Skippers (injured) and Nasief Morris (suspended) missing Friday's game, Touray believed his side were meeting Pirates at the best possible time.
Pirates continue to struggle for form in the league of late, having taken just four points from their last four matches.
“They are not in their best form right now, and we can hopefully use that against them,” Touray said.
“They lost their big derby (against Kaizer Chiefs) last weekend, I think they took that heavily because its one of their biggest games.
“They have not been consistent of late, a bit up and down, so hopefully we can use that against them.” – Sapa