Caf Confederation Cup: Ncikazi rues Orlando Pirates challenges ahead of final against RS Berkane

Fadlu Davids and Mandla Ncikazi co coaches of Orlando Pirates.
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The Soweto heavyweights beat Al Ahly Tripoli in the last four to make it to the final hurdle

Orlando Pirates co-coach Mandla Ncikazi insists the team will use the challenges faced to their advantage when they play RS Berkane in the Caf Confederation Cup final on Friday evening in Uyo, Nigeria.

The South Africans arrived at the matchday venue on Thursday morning and needed to adjust fast ahead of the game. The final is set to be played just four days after Bucs played their second leg semi-final against Al Ahly Tripoli.

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"The African game has its own dynamics we can’t change, you just have to adapt to sometimes, we are that team that you just have to go through challenges since we’ve been involved in Caf, we’ve always faced challenges," Ncikazi said ahead of the game.

"You go over that and just control what happens within the four lines, there we are in control and whatever happens outside we just put it aside."

"Adversity is breakfast for champions, sometimes when things are proper, that’s when they are not proper, when we have challenges we use that to our advantage.

"For me when that happened, I took that as an advantage."

The 53-year-old has compared RS Berkane's game with what is played in Europe, but hinted at his game plan to stand a chance to win the match.

"North Africans are very unique in how they play, in how they approach the game, very technical, very strong on set-plays, more European [style] than other teams, very physical but like your advantage can be your disadvantage, they have areas where we think we can exploit them," Ncikazi continued.

"We just have to be ourselves when we have the ball, we have to impose our game, use our individual brilliance which we are good with and if we do that well I think we will surprise our opponents."

The Buccaneers coach is anticipating a tough clash owing to the experience of his opposite number Florent Ibenge who he says is a top coach with massive experience.

"It’s a big stage, two great teams, RS Berkane, lots of experience, they have played in this tournament before," Ncikazi added.

"Pirates same, we’ve played before so it’s a top clash [against] a very experienced team led by coach Ibenge, a top coach so it’s going to be a tough match but we are here as Orlando Pirates to represent our country and badge.

"We will try and win, give our best game with our very good team, we believe in them, let it be a good match and Pirates hopefully become winners."

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