DURBAN – Clinton Larsen is confident that Chippa United can continue with their fairy-tale run in the Nedbank Cup as they prepare to face Kaizer Chiefs in the semi-finals.
The Chilli Boys have earned themselves the status as giant killers in South Africa’s premier knock-out Cup competition.
The Port Elizabeth-based team have sent Mamelodi Sundowns and Wits packing in the tournament this season.
Chippa were pitted against Chiefs in Sunday’s semi-final draw. The winner will face Golden Arrows or TS Galaxy in the final.
“Nobody gave us a chance against Sundowns, nobody gave us a chance against Wits and nobody will give us a chance against Kaizer Chiefs. We are not under pressure.
“Chiefs are the ones who are under pressure. If they lose this game, it will mean that, it is another trophyless season for them.
“It is a blessing in disguise that we will be meeting in the semi- final. You wouldn’t want to face them in the final because their supporters will fill in the stadium. That can make the difference on the day.
“You saw it against Cape Town City this past weekend at Mbombela Stadium. At least, we know that we can outnumber Lamontville Golden Arrows and TS Galaxy with supporters in the final,” Larsen said.
Larsen will be searching for his second piece of silverware as a coach, having won the Telkom Knockout with Bloemfontein Celtic in 2012.
“The belief is strong that we can go all the way in this competition. We’ve proven that we are capable of beating anyone in this league.
“Our good group of players believe that we can do it. We want to make history.
“This team has never been in a Cup final. We are 90 minutes away from achieving that feat. We will give our best against Chiefs at home,” Larsen said.
Chippa are not safe from relegation. They are third from bottom with 21 points after 24 games, but Larsen is not fazed by this.
“We don’t (worry) about relegation at Chippa United. I don’t talk about that to my players. This team is too good to be relegated. When I arrived, I had to change a few things. The way they played had to be changed. It was not effective. We are now more attack minded.
“We produce more forward passes. We are more penetrative. They had attacking players, but they were slow in their penetration. We are now a threatening team.
“Our offensive players can also defend which is something that wasn’t happening before. The players have bought in to our concept,” Larsen said.@Minenhlecr7