Kaizer Chiefs captain Samir Nurkovic says his side will go into the Soweto derby 'fully focused' on claiming maximum points against Orlando Pirates at the Orlando Stadium on Saturday.
The Serbian international already has experience playing in the Soweto derby, having already featured in three derbies for Amakhosi in the 2019-20 campaign but missed Chiefs earlier meetings in the MTN8 this season through injury.
Nurkovic has played a crucial role in Chiefs' turn their season around having returned since returning from a lengthy injury lay-off, having already scored one goal and assisted a further two in seven appearances so far this season.
However, Nurkovic is disappointed that their '12th man' would be cheering them on for a match of this magnitude but knows that their fans will be supporting them from the comfort of their homes.
'Playing in big derbies like the Soweto derby is every player’s dream. I have had the privilege to play three derbies last season and I am happy to be part of this derby again,' Nurković told his club's official website.
'Before I arrived in South Africa and came to Chiefs, I learnt about the Soweto derby,' he enthuses. 'The fact that the players have the opportunity to play in front of 90 000 supporters made me really look forward to being part of such an occasion.
'My experience in the derby has been unbelievable thus far,' he comments. 'Playing in front of 90 000 spectators is a dream come true for every player. It has exceeded all my expectations.
'It is unfortunate that this derby will have no supporters at the same stadium, but I am sure they will be supporting us from home, playing without supporters is very different. They are always the 12th man and give us extra motivation. We really miss them at the stadium.'
He added: 'It is full focus for Chiefs as we get ready for the clash with Pirates. A big team like Kaizer Chiefs must only be interested in victories, that’s why we are going into this game just like every other game with full focus.
'As much as we prefer to have our beloved fans at the stadium, they have to prioritise their and their families’ health by adhering to the government regulations. We urge them to stay at home and continue to support us from there. Thank you to all of them for doing so and hopefully we will have them in the stands soon.'
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