Kaizer Chiefs defender Ramahlwe Mphahlele has laughed off suggestion made by Orlando Pirates assistant coach about their title chances.
The Pirates camp has this week gone all out to project humility and, some may say, Machiavellian play, ahead of the Soweto derby on Saturday.
First, it was assistant coach Rhulani Mokwena, who earlier in the week rejected the idea that the Buccaneers were taking the title war to log leaders Mamelodi Sundowns following their 4-2 victory over Chippa United on Sunday, a result that propelled them to second place on the table.
Mokwena unconvincingly claimed his team was “just” happy with their improvement compared to last season. Jele followed suit, saying although a lot was at stake in this match, with a point separating the two sides on the log, the thought of raising the trophy at the end of the season had not entered their minds.
Over in Naturena, Mphahlele had no compunction ridiculing this notion of a Bucs side that suddenly has no desire for trophies, especially poised as they are to pounce should Sundowns suffer any implosion.
And this little exchange, with Mphahlele calling Pirates “liars” could be just the catalyst needed to reignite a derby that has of late turned out to be a rather drab affair.
“Happy has just come here and lied to you because how can you be in position two and say that you are not thinking about the league?
What else are you thinking about when you are No 2? “But we are in third place and we are trying to win the league. Let’s not beat about the bush. “Maybe if Pirates are not trying to win the league they should just send their MDC (development) team on Saturday.”
With new coach Milutin Sredojevic having turned around Pirates’ fortunes, they might be trying to ease expectations and pressure on players, underselling their value by casting themselves as “minnows”. But at the end of the day, three points will serve not only to seal the bragging rights, but will provide log leaders Downs with some food for thought.
Mphahlele has no such qualms though, declaring the match a mustwin for Amakhosi. “We know it’s difficult for the fans who come to fill FNB and then get a draw. We will try to