Johannesburg – Despite the daunting prospect of taking on Kaizer Chiefs this weekend, SuperSport United boss Cavin Johnson refused to let the fixture overshadow his side's next assignment – a midweek Premiership clash against the University of Pretoria.
The Premiership will play catch-up this week, after the MTN8 cup competition halted progress.
Two fixtures – on Wednesday and Saturday – had left Johnson wary of looking past Tuks, and he duly warned his charges not to underestimate their Pretoria rivals.
“We take one game at a time. Hopefully against Tuks, we'll be able to play according to plan and get the three points we are looking for,” Johnson said ahead of Wednesday's Pretoria derby.
“Right now, Tuks is the priority and we'll go there to win the game.”
Both teams took part in the MTN8 competition, and both fell out in the opening round and had not played a competitive fixture for more than two weeks.
Matsatsantsa would look to bounce back after their loss to Orlando Pirates in the cup, while Tuks were humbled by Chiefs in the same competition.
United, however, opened their new Premiership campaign with a comfortable 4-1 home win over Free State Stars and would hope to carry that form into Wednesday's game.
“Hopefully, we have done our work better than they (Tuks) have done their work and we'll get the three points,” Johnson added.
“We've worked on a lot of the minuses that we had in our games (against Stars and Pirates) and we've tried to put that into good practice.
“We hope, as a technical team, we've done our work and we're able to fix those little things.”
The newly-appointed Johnson reserved special praise for Tuks coach Steve Barker and predicted the match would be a tight affair.
“This time of the season, it's always cause for concern. Especially the fact that we played against Pirates and then we had almost 14 days off,” Johnson said.
“Steve Barker is a good coach and he has assembled a good team. You give respect to all the Premiership coaches and you give respect to all the teams.
“We both lost out in the MTN8. Both our teams will probably be up for the game on Wednesday night.”
Barker singled out Mame Niang as United's chief destroyer – a player who spent last season on loan at Tuks. The coach was confident, however, his team knew how to deal with the Senegalese striker.
“We know Mame well and we know what he is capable of. We know what his strengths are and we also perhaps know his weaknesses,” Barker said.
“It's up to us to ensure we don't allow him to dictate terms according to his strengths.
“We definitely will have a plan – not only for Mame as SuperSport have built a really strong team with quality players all round the park, so there are challenges in containing SuperSport.”
Wednesday: University of Pretoria v SuperSport United (Tuks Stadium), Mamelodi Sundowns v Platinum Stars (Loftus Versfeld), Free State Stars v Maritzburg United (Charles Mopeli Stadium), Wits v Golden Arrows (Bidvest Stadium), Polokwane City v Bloemfontein Celtic (Peter Mokaba Stadium). – Sapa