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Former Orlando Pirates defender Hlatshwayo holds no grudge against Soweto giants

12:29 SAST 2022/08/21
Thulani Hlatshwayo, SuperSport United, August 2022
The 32-year-old comes up against the Buccaneers a few months after he left them

SuperSport United defender Thulani Hlatshwayo says he is treating Sunday’s Premier Soccer League clash with Orlando Pirates “as another game" despite his history with the Soweto giants.

Matsatsantsa host the Buccaneers at Lucas Moripe Stadium hoping to collect their first set of maximum points this season.

Hlatshwayo will be facing his former team where he endured a difficult time last season.

After being sidelined by Pirates for the better part of last season, Hlatshwayo says he is not out to show the Soweto giants what they are missing.

“We know it’s my former team and I know them, but there’s no other feeling other than to take it as another game,” Hlatshwayo told SABC Sport.

“I am at SuperSport United now and given a chance I need to make sure I use it and I don’t have a point to prove against my former team.”

The former Bafana Bafana captain has started in all three matches SuperSport have played so far this season.

He is enjoying a new lease of life under coach Gavin Hunt whom he previously worked with at Bidvest Wits.

“I have seen that this team has a lot of talent. Coach Gavin said when he won the league with this team, during the Anthony Laffor era, they were younger,” added Hlatshwayo.

“But when he compares, the talent he has now is also young and much better. So, there’s a lot of potential and talent that we should guide them as senior players.

“There’s history between me and coach Gavin and I wouldn’t say our start has been rocky…it’s just the way we have conceded the goals. I think we have started the games well.

“But to have only got one point from three games means the only way to get better is to start picking up [more] points. We started well against Chippa [season opener], but we conceded a lot of goals, but we trust that the coach in moving forward and getting the best out of us.”

SuperSport have lost two games and shared the spoils in one while Pirates arrive in Tshwane on the backdrop of two wins, a draw and a defeat.

SuperSport have shown to be vulnerable at the back in the three matches they have played in which they conceded five goals.

Pirates would be out to exploit that weakness although they have also been struggling upfront.

The Buccaneers' last visit to SuperSport was not a memorable trip after they lost 2-0 in May, in what was the two teams’ final match of last season.

Earlier on in March, Pirates had beaten SuperSport 3-2 at Orlando Stadium.