Come past us first Boem Celtic, says Cape Town City’s Riekerink
CAPE TOWN - Bloemfontein Celtic won't be thinking of their upcoming MTN8 against Orlando Pirates just yet, says Cape Town City coach Jan Olde Riekerink.
City face the MTN8 finalists Celtic in Free State on Saturday in their first game after the international break.
Their hosts have been splendid form in the Cup competitions thus far this season. John Maduka's side have been giant killers, despatching both league champions Mamelodi Sundowns and Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs enroute to the final.
Odle Riekerink, though, doesn't believe the Phunye Phunye Sele will be distracted by their showpiece game against the Buccaneers.
"Bloemfontein is a team that performs very well at the moment. They qualified for the MTN 8 final against Pirates so it's going to be a very challenging game," he said.
"They will come full strength. The final is too far away to be distracted by it. They will see our game as a very good opportunity to get three points."
City will have endured mixed fortunes while the players have been with their respective national teams. Edmilson has been ruled out for a lengthy period after undergoing surgery, while Thamsanqa Mkhize and Abbubaker Mobarawere both been ruled out of Bafana Bafana's 2021 AFCON qualifiers after testing positive for Covid-19.
Fortunately for the Citizens, both Mkhize and Mobara have recovered and will be available on Saturday.
"It is was first of all very unlucky for them to be selected for the national team and then not traveling because of Covid19. We try to take every precautions for the players not to be infected, but still it happens like everywhere in the world," he said.
"They came back this week and joined the group after testing negative. The virus is not the same for everyone, so we will see how they progress."