|Kurt Lentjies © Backpagepix
Kurt Lentjies, the Maritzburg United midfielder, insists they are not daunted by the Nedbank Cup assignment that awaits them in Attridgeville this week.
The ‘Team of Choice’ will play double-chasing Mamelodi Sundowns in the first quarter-final of the competition at the Lucas Moripe Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Both sides have had contrasting seasons so far with the home side looking to win trophies on two fronts, the league and cup, while the visitors are battling relegation.
“It’s not daunting at all to face them,” Lentjies told PSL.co.za on Wednesday. “I mean it’s 11 versus 11 at the end of the day. Yes, maybe some would say they have more quality than us, but I believe if we have 11 guys working towards the same goal, then it’s difficult to stand in their way.”
Lentjies is a former Sundowns player himself having spent two unsuccessful seasons at Chloorkop between 2008 and 2010.
During that time, he earned one runners-up medal when the Brazilians lost to Kaizer Chiefs in the MTN 8 final after he just joined.
During his time in Pietermaritzburg, the club have progressed steadily and have improved on their cup history with their best-ever finish coming in the 2010 Telkom Knockout when they reached the last four.
Now they stand just 90 or possibly 120 minutes away from emulating that feat and Lentjies said: “We just need to take it one game at a time. This week is the cup and that will be followed by a league game on Tuesday. If we take the games as they come, then I don’t think there’ll be any problems.”
The 27-year-old has predicted an open game, saying they will not bow to their hosts’ overall superior quality.
“You want to respect your opponents, but not respect them too much. So we’re not going to man-mark certain players or pay attention to only a few.
“Firstly we don’t even know who is going to play on the matchday, they have a very big squad, so we’ll have worry about what we can bring to the game. The rest will take care of itself.”
Maritzburg have drawn their last three games with a 1-0 last 16 win at Lamontville Golden Arrows mixed in between.
Lentjies added: “We’re playing good football, but struggling to put the ball in the back of the net. There have been a lot of positives in the last two games even though they weren’t the best results.
“Positives are something to work with going forward. I guess if we can continue to create chances against Sundowns and then take more of them, we’ll have every chance of a beating them.”