Spurred on by their impressive MTN8 debut, Chippa United are looking to double their efforts in the Telkom Knockout Cup.
Coach Dan Malesela said he was aware of the pressure the team were under to succeed as the side take on Premier Soccer League rookies Highlands Park in the last 16 at the Makhulong Stadium tomorrow (8pm).
Chippa beat Platinum Stars in the MTN8 quarterfinals before losing 1-0 to Mamelodi Sundowns over two semifinal legs.
“We know that we lost out on the MTN8 Cup. We were actually talking about it at training, saying we do not want to keep counting missed trophies,” Malesela said.
“We are aware of the pressure that is on us to do well. What makes matters tougher now is that they [Highlands] have signed a new coach.
“We thought we would know how to approach our game against them, now we will have to change things.
“But it is not a problem because it could be a close game or a big disappointment for them. We will just have to rely on what we think we can do on the day.”
He said the biggest lesson they had learnt was to take their chances and make the right decisions at crucial moments.
“Those chances come once,” Malesela said.
“If I am given an exam in matric I only have one shot to make it otherwise I will have to repeat the grade next year.
“We want to see our name in the paper. We do not want to be like matrics at the end of the year and open pages slowly because we have that fear that our name might not be in the paper.
“That is the lesson we have learnt from the MTN8, that we have one chance in this game.”
Malesela said his troops would challenge for every piece of silverware on offer this season.
Asked if striker Rhulani Manzini’s injury had contributed to Chippa not scoring goals, he said: “No. I think after Rhulani got injured the only challenge that we had was to identify who could combine with who to score our goals.
“We need to find the right personnel – I think that is the only challenge we have.”
The Chilli Boys will be without Diamond Thopola and Tshwarelo Bereng due to injury.