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    Pirates brace themselves for a tough week

    Orlando Pirates face a midnight bus trip this week as part of their juggling a busy schedule to be as freshly prepared as possible for Saturday's derby against Premier Soccer League leaders Kaizer Chiefs.

    Pirates, like their arch- rivals, have a midweek game before the derby. But unlike Chiefs, who are home to Ajax Cape Town at FNB Stadium, they must travel away to Phuthaditjhaba where they face Free State Stars tomorrow night.

    It leaves little time for coach Eric Tinkler to fit in both training and recovery between all the travel in what he describes as "a tough week".

    Pirates' players went for a brief regeneration session on Sunday after their Saturday night win over Polokwane City and were off until last night.

    This morning they will have another practice before taking a bus to Bethlehem to camp overnight before facing a tricky opponent.

    Tinkler says they will not stay for a second night after tomorrow's PSL match but head home straight after the final whistle, even though it is a four-hour trip into the dark night that will have them home only at around 2am on Thursday morning.

    "It's better to get home and then be able to rest up than to have to wake up on Thursday morning and then travel back.

    " That is where the fatigue really sets in. This way we can all get home to sleep late and then we can have a late training session on Thursday again."

    Friday will be the only normal practice day for the Buccaneers to prepare for the derby. It will be a session concentrating on tactics rather than too much physical exertion.

    "We've faced this situation before, it's nothing new to us, especially when we were competing in the Champions League," Tinkler said.

    "It has become natural to our players but it remains important to keep that intensity. It's vital to stay focused, work extremely hard and keep believing and I think we have all those elements about us right 

    Picture credit: techgirl.co.za

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