Johannesburg – New coach Vladimir Vermezovic has provided has boosted morale at Orlando Pirates, midfielder Daine Klate said on Thursday.
“With the new coach coming in, there's a good vibe in the team. The mood in the camp is well,” Klate said ahead of Saturday's highly-anticipated Soweto derby at FNB Stadium.
“It's a new start for everybody and maybe it's a blessing in disguise that we have a new coach.”
Vermezovic, affectionately known as VV, was in charge of Kaizer Chiefs between 2009 and 2012 and joined Pirates earlier this month, having signed a long-term deal with the club.
Speaking of the 152nd Soweto derby, Klate said his team-mates needed little motivation going into a game against their fierce rivals.
“It's all about the atmosphere. All the players want is to be part of that hype,” Klate said.
“In the derby, you come out in front of 90,000 people and you sweat blood for your team-mates.”
Klate's opposite number, Siphiwe Tshabalala, spoke of his excitement heading into the game.
“All is well in the team. We're all in the right frame of mind,” the Amakhosi playmaker said.
“We know the importance of the game. It's every players' to play in a game of this magnitude.
“Both teams have great history and people talk about the game and players get motivated. We all look forward to the game, not only the players, but everybody involved.”
Chiefs enter their final preparations without the services of goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune who had been ruled out with an injury.
Tshabalala said although Khune would be missed, his absence provided an opportunity for another member of the goalkeeping team to step up.
“It's beyond our control, it's an opportunity for one of the players to take the jersey,” Tshabalala said.
“Yes we're going to miss Itu, but we have quality players in the team. We are all part of a team, we win as a team, we lose as a team.” – Sapa