Skip to main content

News

  • Harry ready for final SA test
Subscribe to newsfeed 

Harry ready for final SA test

Posted on 22 July 2011  - 12:00

Harry Redknapp has been impressed with standard of football we've encountered in South Africa - and expects another test when we face Orlando Pirates in the final of the Vodacom Challenge on Saturday.

Harry Redknapp has been impressed with standard of football we've encountered in South Africa - and expects another test when we face Orlando Pirates in the final of the Vodacom Challenge on Saturday.

Pirates booked their place in the final at Johannesburg's famous Ellis Park after beating Kaizer Chiefs in Port Elizabeth on Thursday night.

We drew 1-1 with the South African PSL champions and treble-winners in Nelspruit on Tuesday night and the stage is set for a repeat of the Vodacom Challenge final of 2007, when we triumphed 3-0 against the same team.

Not that Harry expects a repeat of that final, when we stormed into a 3-0 lead inside 25 minutes.

"It's been fantastic preparation for us in South Africa and we've had two very tough games," said the manager in a pre-final press conference at Ellis Park on Friday.

"Both of the teams we've played have been excellent.

"I thought the football the Pirates played on Tuesday was of the highest level and they certainly made us work hard to stay in the game.

"I've been very impressed with the standard of football I've seen here so far and we're looking forward to another exciting, skilful game of football in the final.

"The games have been played in a good spirit and I'm sure Saturday's game will be exactly the same with good skill on show. It will be another showcase for football in South Africa."

The big question from fans here in South Africa is whether or not home hero Steven Pienaar will make his first appearance.

"I'm hoping Steven will be fit to start," said Harry. "I'd like him to play here, it's home for him and we're looking to give him a start. He's had an injury, but we're hoping to get at least 45 minutes out of him."

Meanwhile, Harry also confirmed that Heurelho Gomes would start against the Pirates so all three goalkeepers - Gomes, Brad Friedel and Carlo Cudicini - would have played a full match each in South Africa.