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Pirates target win against Santos

Orlando Pirates will go up against Santos in the last 16 of the Nedbank Cup at the Athlone Stadium.

Orlando Pirates midfielder Daine Klate. Picture: Facebook.com

CAPE TOWN - Orlando Pirates midfielder Daine Klate admits his team are targeting to win the Nedbank Cup as the teams looks to salvage what has turned out to be a disappointing season.

Tonight, the Buccaneers will go up against Santos in the last 16 of the competition at the Athlone Stadium.

The team has already been involved in three finals this season, but has failed to win a trophy.

Klate said winning this title was a target, but should they lose in the final, it would be disastrous.

"This one is important for us because myself and the team we know how to get to the final but I hope we don't get there and lose it."

Klate was not expected to be in the starting lineup as he was still recovering from a knee injury.

He has outlined when he expects to be back in action.

"The doctor advised next week, but I'll see how far I can go. If there is no pain in the knee then I can come ready. I'm struggling with that pain and my balance, that's all."

New coach Vladimir Vermezovic has now taken charge of the team for three games, claiming a win, lose and draw in all those games.

While Klate has welcomed the approach of the new coach, he admitted the team has yet to really sit down and discuss what he expected of them.

"I have only seen him three or four times at training because of the schedule. He's been good. He's been trying his best to get to know us personally and he likes to speak to us one on one at training. He hasn't change much because Eric [Tinkler] still does a lot of preparations."

Klate has also admitted that fatigue was beginning to take a toll on Pirates' players as they attempt to salvage the last few months of their season.

"Fatigue has played an important part in this but we're learning from it as well. It's been a hectic schedule for us with every second-third day playing a game. We have to focus on recovering and that's going to impact on the coach as well because when is he going to implement his plans and fix things?

Vermezovic himself has reiterated the importance of the competition for his side.

"For me every competition is important because I like to win. Every competition is very important for each of us."

Vermezovic also indicated that Lehlohonolo Masalesa might get a start in the game tonight.

With the Buccaneers short of holding midfielders, he stressed the importance of the player.

"Masalesa just came out of injury and he's a player who can help us especially on that position because at the moment we only have Bibo (Thandani Ntshumayelo).