Premier Soccer League survival will be at the forefront of the minds of both teams when Chippa United play Highlands Park in a relegation battle fixture at the Makhulong Stadium tonight (8pm).
Interim Chippa coach Mbuyiselo Sambu regards the game as one of their toughest and most important matches of the season.
A win is vital for both teams as they continue their push to remain in the top flight.
Chippa are 14th on the log with 24 points from 27 games. Highlands Park are rock bottom in 16th position with 22 points from 27 matches.
Wedged in between are Baroka FC who have the same points from the same number of games as Chippa, with the Eastern Cape outfit superior on goal difference.
“This is going to be one of the toughest games ever. But for us, our main focus is to make sure that we master the plan we have against those guys,” Sambu said.
“The discipline towards achieving what we want is important.
“It is also very important for our boys to be very committed towards that game, because if we are OK mentally and physically it will be a plus for us.
“That is what we need for now. We don’t have to be doubtful about the things we are doing.
“There are just minor things we need to work on to ensure we are able to manage the pressure that we find ourselves under.”
The 33-year-old coach said his team needed to work on their defenders’ level of concentration and also on their finishing.
He said it was just a matter of fine-tuning those areas in order for them to secure the much-needed points tonight.
“We are playing against a team that is playing direct football, but obviously our plan is to make sure that we are aggressive in our attack – not think about defence too much,” Sambu said.
“This is a do-or-die fixture. We have to make sure that we are aggressive in our attack.
“We need to put Highlands Park under pressure, because if we are going to sit back and wait for them to attack that will put us under pressure.
“We do not want to play under pressure. The more we play offensively, the better for us. Once you absorb pressure, you run the risk of breaking down,” he said.