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Fadlu cautions against Berkane's 'dirty tricks'

Bucs coach advises team not to be provoked by Moroccan side

Sihle Ndebele Journalist
Orlando Pirates FC co-coach Fadlu Davids.
Orlando Pirates FC co-coach Fadlu Davids.
Image: Lefty Shivambu

Orlando Pirates coach Fadlu Davids has told his troops to guard against RS Berkane's provocative antics when the two sides clash in the CAF Confederation Cup final.

Pirates and Berkane of Morocco meet in the Confed Cup decider at Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo, Nigeria, on Friday (9pm SA time).

Speaking at a media conference at Orlando Stadium yesterday, Davids urged Pirates players to be level-headed and avoid playing into the Moroccans' dirty tricks.

"Very strangely, looking into the analysis, there was always a red card against the opposition when Berkane played [three of their last five Confed Cup games saw the team they played against get a red card].

"They're quite an emotional team...experienced team. You take their midfielders [Larbi] Naji, [Bakr El] Helali and [Hamza] Regragui, quite experienced three," said Davids.

"I am not talking about their defence line [Ismael] Mokadem and [Issoufou] Dayo, they put a lot of pressure on the ref and they rile up the emotions of the crowd and of the situation especially when they're at home, putting a lot of pressure on the referee.

"So, we've to be calm in relation to our thinking. We must not allow them to drag us into this scuffles and emotional moments... there's red cards and yellow cards."

The Pirates mentor added that the game will require more of a physiological readiness than any other kind of preparedness. "It's more mental game than physical, tactical and technical. How we're able to control our emotions in this final will help us big amount in relations to us lifting the trophy."

Davids banks on VAR to come to their rescue should Berkane succeed in influencing Zambian referee Janny Sikazwe, who'll be officiating on the day. Davids applauded CAF for introducing VAR in the knockout face of their competitions.

"You've got to give credit to CAF for allowing VAR into the knockout stages... there's been a huge, huge improvement not only in decisions but in overall standard of the game when it comes to off-side trap, when it comes to little decisions like goals and off-sides.

"So we expect VAR to be a clear neutral factor in relation to this and we're already preparing our players to be calm and control their thinking." 

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