East London – Chippa United wants to make history this year by playing a cup final for the first time since it was formed in 2009.
The Chilli Boys take on Kaizer Chiefs in a much awaited Nedbank Cup game on Saturday night at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium. Clinton Larsen told media in Port Elizabeth that his players are so determined to make ‘Chippa United’s tenth year’ special by beating Chiefs and get into the final.
That is not going to be easy because Nedbank Cup is the only hope for the Glamour Boys – who desperately want to win it. But Larsen says his boys are well prepared for the challenge and is hoping that they will be able to score goals. Chippa reached semi-finals after defeating Bidvest Wits 5-3 on penalties in a well contested game that produced eight goals.
“Preparations have gone pretty well. At the moment we are injury free and every body is available for selection. We have a full squad to choose from which is a very healthy situation coming into such an important game. It’s a game we are all looking forward to as a club, players and technical team. It’s a huge opportunity for us. As everybody knows, it’s a 10-years anniversary of our club. We really want to make this special. To do so, we have to overcome this final huddle in front of us to get to our first final as the club. It is the last huddle which is Kaizer Chiefs. I said it before the Wits game that I would rather play Chiefs before the semi-final than the final because in the final, Chiefs will dominate you in terms of crowd and it would make it difficult to play against them in the final, said Larsen.
The coach is very confident that his boys can repeat what they did to Sundowns and Wits after they showing good signs of wanting victory at training during the week.
“For us to lift this trophy, it is going to be a lot easier to beat them in the semi-finals and go all the way to the final. We know it’s not going to be easy. There is no easy game in the PSL but we have proven this season that we can beat the top teams and we will draw a lot of inspiration from that. We have a strong squad that is playing good football and we looking forward to a difficult game. We are confident with our preparations, we are confident with the way players are looking at training and we have strong belief in the squad that we picking at the right moment and we are ready for the challenge."
Chiefs won Nedbank Cup more than any club in South Africa and are under immense pressure to lift a trophy this season after three years of drought under Steve Komphela – who is currently coaching Abafana Bes’thende. Larsen thinks it shouldn’t be difficult for soldiers to block Chiefs forwards.
“It is going to be simple to shut out Chiefs attack and use our offensive players to pose a huge treat to that Chiefs defence who we feel can be vulnerable at times. We are going to expect our attacking unit to really put this Chiefs team under pressure and score goals that can see us through,” concluded the coach.