Chippa coach targets win in the Cape Derby

Chippa coach Mark Harrison and his captain Mbulelo ‘OJ’ Mabizela are playing down the significance of the derby factor ahead of Saturday’s clash with Ajax Cape Town.

The two Mother City neighbours, lying last (Chippa) and second last (Ajax) meet in an Absa Premiership clash at the Philippi Stadium on Saturday night.

While the Ajax contingent at Thursday afternoon’s press conference in Cape Town referred to the upcoming derby as possibly the ‘biggest game in the club’s history’, Chippa United prefer to view the derby as just another game from which they must pick up maximum points.

“What goes on at Ajax is not my problem (the resignation of Jan Versleijen and the appointment of Muhsin Ertugral), I’m not really interested in what us going on down there. At the moment at Chippa United things look like they are on the right road,” said Harrison.

“We have got to go do our job and that’s all we can do. We can’t look at permutations. Its in our hands now, we can stay in this league. Of course I would rather be in Ajax’s position (three points above Chippa), but we know if we win this game we make a fight of it. I don’t think there is any more pressure on either side, when you cross the white line its 11 v 11.

“My advice to those players (former Ajax players now at Chippa) is this is just another game, you can’t go into it in a frenzy, you have to approach this game as you would any other game. Lose win or draw we still have three games after this.

“I don’t think in a local relegation derby there are any favourites. Its going to be 22 players out there giving everything they have got to try and achieve three points,” the Englishman added.

Mabizela says that the players have responded well since Harrison took charge a couple of weeks ago, explaining that the former Black Aces boss has reinstalled confidence within the ranks.

“The team is facing bad times, but we are fighting until the end of the season. Mark came and it worked. It was not like he came with a miracle. He’s a good coach, he brought the fighting spirit back. We are adjusting well to Mark’s philosophy.

“As players, we need to be strong mentally. Coaches can come and go, but we are in a war that we need to finish at the end of the season. We can’t let coaches distract what we are fighting for,” said the former Bafana Bafana defender.