Kjell Jonevret confident of top eight finish


Pirates host Chippa United at Orlando Stadium tonight (20h15) – the third game that they have played at home in the last week.

Such is the increased weight of importance of tonight’s game in their pursuit of a top-eight place that a win will get The Bucs crossing over into the bright lights of the top half for the first time since December 20.

A win tonight for Pirates will take them to position eight – level on points with Golden Arrows, but boasting a better goal difference.

“The goal remains to be in the top eight,” said Jonevret. “Absolutely, I still believe that we are going to do that.

"But we have to work hard to achieve that because the difference between the top and bottom teams is small, and all games are tough.

"Every game is tough and we have to be ready. We have to step up and we are ready."

Up against an opponent that politely showed their head coach Dan Malesela the exit door, by placing him on 'special leave' just weeks after one of his assistants Zipho Dlangalala also left, it is expected by their supporters that the Mayfair-based outfit should pocket all the points on offer.

Chippa assistant coach Mbuyiselo Sambu – who was a player as recently as two years ago – has been handed the temporary job of leading the team that is now potentially at risk of being relegated, as they sit just two points off the drop zone.

Still, Jonevret knows all too well just how tough a battle this is going to be especially after what he saw in mid-week against Baroka.

“It is going to be a tough game again. I am 100% sure about that," added the Swede. "The positive thing for me and the team is that we should definitely be able to improve [on Wednesday night's performance against Baroka].

"Chippa is probably a better team than Baroka so we have to step up. We have a chance there [against Chippa], absolutely, and if we win that one then we can say two wins and a draw which will be a good week.

"I am prepared for Chippa and I know, just like the players know, we also have a lot of players that have been at Chippa in our squad. I know that they are well prepared for this one.”

That this fixture is being played just days after Malesela's ‘suspension’ counts for little, admitted the Pirates gaffer.

“They will have eleven players on the field to play us."