Polokwane City regard Tuesday’s goalless draw at home to Kaizer Chiefs as a positive ahead of their weekend quarterfinal in the Telkom Knockout away at Orlando Pirates.
"Honestly speaking‚ we can build from this because going to Pirates with a loss to our name was not going to be nice‚" said coach Bernard Molekwa.
"There is belief among our boys now‚ the confidence is coming back. We’ll believe we can compete with Pirates‚ probably even go to the next round."
The Limpopo team are targeting the competition as a genuine chance for a first piece of serious silverware.
"We’ve told the players about the fact we are just two games from the final. But we must take it one game at a time.
"It’s not yet time to think about any finals. We have to beat Pirates first and see who we get in the semis."
Molekwa believes the side is finding form after a poor start to the season and are unbeaten in their last five encounters.
"But we need to get some back-to-back wins to make some progress up the log table.
"The log is still too tight‚ there is not much of a gap between the bottom and the top. We are moving in the right direction."
Last Saturday’s penalty shootout victory at home over Ajax Cape Town in the first round was City’s initial success in the competition.
In the previous four years City went out in the first round of the competition and they have never made it to the last eight.
They meet Pirates at the Orlando Stadium on Saturday.
Chiefs coach Steve Komphela was hoping his charges would wrap up Tuesday’s match long before the finish in order for him to rest several key players as a heavy travel load threatens to affect the team’s performance.
But Chiefs did not get the goals they were looking for against Polokwane City.
Chiefs’ trip to Polokwane followed a visit to Durban last weekend for their opening match in the Telkom Knockout and came ahead of Sunday’s quarterfinal tie against Chippa United in Port Elizabeth.
"The travel is a bit hectic, which is why I had hoped we would wrap up the match well before time so that I could give a bit of a break for some of the players‚" Komphela said.
"Last week I took [Bernard] Parker and Shaba [Siphiwe Tshabalala] off 20 minutes before the end to cut some miles off their legs, but I couldn’t do the same against Polokwane."
Komphela took both veterans off before the end of the game on Tuesday as well but with just a few minutes left.
"It was a psychological move that I hope works for their mind," he said.
The coach is also concerned about the mileage made in recent games by wing-back Joseph Molongoane‚ who was man of the match against Polokwane‚ and Philani Zulu‚ who is fast becoming a fan favourite.
"Our squad size is quite small so we just have to pray every one will be okay for Sunday‚" added Komphela‚ who is without several long-term injured players such as Tsepo Masilela‚ Kgotso Moleko and Ramahlwe Mphahlele.
"I hope we survive on Sunday so that we can then use the Fifa break to give the players much-needed rest‚" added Komphela.