Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

After going nine games without defeat, Orlando Pirates players feel duty-bound to keep The Ghost smiling by getting positive results.

"We've raised their hopes and have to keep the momentum," said Dikgang "Terminator" Mabalane, the man who was instrumental in the rejuvenation of Pirates.

Mabalane was speaking at their open media day ahead of their grudge Telkom Knockout semifinal against Bloemfontein Celtic at Chatsworth Stadium tomorrow.

Kickoff is at 8.15pm.

After missing Wednesday's goalless draw against Mamelodi Sundowns with a hamstring injury, Mabalane will reclaim his place on the right wing where he has been incredible.

"It's good that we did not lose to Sundowns, the spirit in the camp is still high and we are geared up for a tough one against Celtic," said Mabalane.

"We really need to win this tournament, it's been a long time since we won official Premier Soccer League silverware.

"We won't judge Celtic based on their position on the log, they have some pretty good players that we will have to keep a close eye on until the final whistle."

Lebogang Mothibantwa, who joined Pirates from Celtic, said he was looking forward to contributing to the success of Bucs against his former employers.

Ruud Krol, Pirates coach, is keeping his fingers crossed for Thulasizwe Mbuyane to be available for the game. He limped off the pitch against Sundowns.

From Celtic's camp, striker Mark Mayambela said fans should brace themselves for a great game with Pirates in a class of their own.

"Pirates are the team of the moment, but cup games are always full of surprises. We have a good chance in this game, but will have to focus throughout.

"We will put up a big fight," said Mayambela, who netted for Celtic when Pirates beat them 2-1 in the Phakisa Cup in August.

Celtic striker Patrick Malokase said: "We don't need an extra motivation, it's only one match to go to the final.

"In 2005 when we won the Supa 8 Cup, we defeated Pirates on penalties in the semifinals. Hopefully, the same thing will happen on Saturday."

Depending on match fitness Celtic are likely to unveil new striker Shaun Bartlett, who is expected to sign this morning after training with them for two weeks.