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Skipper says Buccaneers has the ability

Jele optimistic Pirates can clinch Confed Cup

Sihle Ndebele Journalist
Tshepo Chaine of Uthongathi challenged by Happy Jele of Orlando Pirates.
Tshepo Chaine of Uthongathi challenged by Happy Jele of Orlando Pirates.
Image: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix/Gallo Images

Orlando Pirates skipper Happy Jele sees no reason why the Buccaneers can’t win this year’s CAF Confederation Cup.

Jele, who's the only remaining squad member of the Pirates’ team that lost in the 2015 final against Tunisian giants Étoile du Sahel, has spoken with a lot of optimism ahead of their second Group A match versus Nigerian heavyweights Enyimba at Orlando Stadium this evening (6pm).

“I see a lot of potential in this team that we have. The way we play, the effort that we put in on the field, [it’s amazing]. We work for one another and it’s possible we can reach [the final again] and get the cup as well. We’ve got a good squad,’’ said Jele in a virtual media conference.

“We’re looking forward to make history. For me, this competition is very important for the team. Orlando Pirates is a big brand and that means we must always compete at the higher level. We’re motivated and we want to get the result against Enyimba.’’

In their opening group phase match, Pirates managed a valuable point away to Algerian side ES Sétif in Ghana last Sunday. The Buccaneers coach Josef Zinnbauer knows the importance of using home ground advantage in continental competitions, relishing the pressure of being at the Sea Robbers as well.

“We have a home game and we have to use that [pressure] for three points. As a coach or as a player, you always have pressure in all games, especially at a club like Pirates. But we need this pressure, we want this pressure. The pressure gives us motivation. Pressure is our daily business,’’ said the Pirates coach.

It’ll be the third time the Sea Robbers and Enyimba clash. They met for the first time in the group phase of the 2006 Champions League, where Pirates snatched a point after a 1-all draw away, before winning 1-0 at home.

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