Da Gama confident of run in the TKO

Highlands park coach Owen da Gama is relishing a run in the Telkom Knockout as he prepares to take his side to Maritzburg United in the Last 16.

Da Gama won the competition with Silver Stars in 2006 and after a solid start to the new campaign with promoted Highlands Park, is confident his side can get a win at a Maritzburg side with one win in eight games this campaign.

“We have studied and know how they play, we have seen their pattern,” Da Gama told reporters. “They do pack their defence, which makes it difficult for other teams to penetrate.

“We will focus more on our strength and look to continue improving each and every game.

“Sometimes you play against the so-called big teams and players turn out to be self-motivated. We know that Maritzburg United are also looking to turn the corner, but our players understand how important this match is to us."

Da Gama is delighted with the return to fitness of Namibia international Peter Shalulile, who was excellent in his side’s back-to-back wins over Mozambique in the African Nations Cup qualifiers.

“We have been battling to score in the past, but we have improved tremendously. I remember when we played against Orlando Pirates [in August], the factor was the absence of Peter Shalulile," Da Gama said.

“Shalulile just scored over the weekend for Namibia and created one. We are improving slowly in the scoring department, which is why we signed [Tendai] Ndoro to help us there."