DURBAN – Alfred Ndengane will be out to bite the hand that once fed him when Orlando Pirates lock horns with Bloemfontein Celtic tonight at Orlando Stadium in a PSL showdown.
Ndengane joined the Bucanneers from Celtic last year but was only eligible to be registered in January. He was an integral part of that Celtic side that took the PSL by storm at the start of the season.
Tonight, Ndengane is out to stop his former employers. Speaking on Saturday, Ndengane, said he won’t be put off by emotions.
“For me, it is just like any other game. I will use my experience to deal with the situation. I won’t take it as in like ‘I’m playing Celtic, my former team’.
Emotions and other stuff will only come after the game,” Ndengane said after Pirates got the better of Golden Arrows at Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium.
Pirates are now second on the log with 39 points after 22 games. They are really pushing hard for league honours but are diverting their attention far away from the challenge.
“For us we are not concentrating on what is happening on the log. We have to win as many games as we can and collect those maximum points,” he added.
The title race is hotting up and Pirates are shifting as much pressure as they can away from themselves.
It was a jubilant weekend for the Bucanneers, as they collected three points, kept a clean sheet and their rivals dropped points.
Pirates will be aiming to collect their third victory on the trot after beating AmaZulu and Arrows in their previous two matches.
Ndengane is forming a solid partnership with Happy Jele at the heart of defence.
“Joining the team early helped me a lot. I learned a lot about my teammates. When I was given an opportunity to play in January it wasn’t difficult for me because I was with the team for months. I was a part of the team that played friendlies,” Ndengane said.
The hard-tackling Ndengane has featured in six league games for Pirates since January, and his aerial presence, ability to read the game with aplomb and his physical presence has really made him one of the colossal figures in that defence.
Ndengane will be looking to help Pirates to another clean sheet tonight. Celtic are no pushovers though. This past weekend, they held Mamelodi Sundowns goalless in their own territory. They also defeated the Sea Robbers in the first round.
Pirates must guard against complacency, otherwise they may suffer. The only thing that they will be looking for now is consistency until the end of the season.
The title race is still open and their destiny is still in their own hands.