The fact that Kudakwashe Mahachi and Onismor Bhasera are the only SuperSport United players who are playing in the Africa Cup of Nations has given Kaitano Tembo the much needed time to prepare his squad in its full complexion – bar the duo – for the resumption of local football in February.
“Lucky enough we only have two players who are away in the Afcon, the rest of the group is around ad we are working very hard,” said Tembo, whose side will resume the DStv Premiership against Maritzburg United, who they will also face in the round of 32 in the Nedbank Cup.
“A game against Maritzburg is always difficult and looking at our past results in the past two seasons, we have not been able to go past the first round and we want to change that. We want to go all out because this is the only cup that is left for us to fight for and we feel we have a chance to fight for it. We have the players and the fight to try and progress to the next round,” said Tembo.
“The key factor in this fixture is that it is a cup game and it is all or nothing, unlike a league game that you lose and recover in the next game. We have experience of playing in cup competitions and we will use that to our advantage,” he added.
Like many other teams in the league, Matsatsantsa A Pitori have been playing friendly matches since they reassembled for the mini pre-season, but those friendlies, Tembo says, don’t give much of an indication as to how ready his side is for the resumption of the season.
“Coming off a long break is always difficult because you don’t really know how prepared you are, all you do is play friendly games and they are really not competitive games so you can only know where you are in terms of your readiness on the first game after the break. It will give us an indication and I think by the time the game approaches, we will be ready,” said the SuperSport mentor.