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Sun Apr 20 22:58:42 SAST 2014

Students want revenge against Chiefs

PJ van Rooyen, Sapa | 17 October, 2012 14:100 Comments
Absa Premiership: Bidvest Wits v Chiefs in Nelspruit, South Africa
Antonio Habas Lopez during the Absa Premiership match between Wits and Kaizer Chiefs at Mbombela Stadium on September 24, 2012 in Nelspruit, South Africa
Image by: Manus van Dyk / Gallo Images

Wits coach Antonio Lopez Habas says his side is looking to set the record straight when they face Kaizer Chiefs in a first-round Telkom Knockout clash in Johannesburg on Friday.

Chiefs beat the Clever Boys 3-1 in a Premiership fixture in Nelspruit last month and Habas said on Wednesday he wanted his side to reverse the result.

“It’s a different game. It’s a cup game so we know if we win we are okay, but if we lose we are out,” the Spaniard said.

“We are prepared and I don’t have problems with the team. It’s impossible for us to make excuses.” 

Habas joined the Students in July, replacing current Orlando Pirates coach Roger De Sa, and he believed the new-look Wits side would be able to challenge the rest of the top-tier outfits in the knockout competition.

“The competition is here. The game is Friday,” Habas said.

“It’s 90 minutes at the Bidvest Stadium so there is no problem.

“It’s another competition and our obligation is winning our competition with the personnel that we have.

“We are absolutely prepared. There are a lot of new players, a new coach, but we are ready.” 

The former Mamelodi Sundowns boss added he would need to look at his team and consider giving some of the fringe players a run in order to keep the squad fresh for the rest of the league campaign.

He also dismissed claims that Chiefs, who are leading the Premiership standings after seven rounds of matches, would be weakened after several of their stars were on national duty for Bafana Bafana and could be absent for the cup clash.

Chiefs assistant coach Doctor Khumalo had hit out at the Premier Soccer League for scheduling the fixture as the first of eight in the opening round of the cup competition — three days after Bafana beat Kenya 2-1 in a friendly international in Nairobi.

Khumalo said they would have preferred to play the game later to give their international players a rest.

Habas, however, said his squad had also been affected by the international window, with a number of their players turning out for their national teams.

“We also had three players out for the internationals with Zimbabwe, Botswana and Malawi, so what is the problem?” he said.

“We want to win and so do Chiefs, so the players will not play a part. They are motivated.

“It will be difficult. They are experienced, but we are absolutely prepared.”

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