Amakhosi centre forward Bernard Parker is pleased to have had an almost fortnight off as Chiefs prepare to resume the final part of their 2020-21 campaign, as a result of the current FIFA international break which has seen Chiefs out of action since their 1-0 DStv Premiership win over Orlando Pirates on 21 March. Parker is now looking forward to getting Chiefs moving in the direction both domestically and in continental competition with their next assignment on Saturday evening against Wydad Casablanca in the CAF Champions League group stages.
Parker has featured in 24 games in all competitions this season. He says the international break was a welcomed one for him and his Chiefs teammates as they’ve had time to recharge their batteries.
“The game that’s coming up is very important for us,” explains Parker. “During the international break, we were lucky that we still had a near full squad to prepare with. We are refreshed, we’ve regrouped, and we are in a good state physically and mentally for us to go into this match. We know how important it is and we have been working on quite a few combinations in certain departments.”
With two games to go in the group stages at home to Wydad and away to Horoya, the two weeks off have given Parker and his teammates the chance to regroup and be ready for the current group leaders Wydad.
“It was a much-needed break for us as we go into this game focused and we know what is expected,” he adds. I personally got to spend some time with my family and my mom. We used the break to realign, and we are ready for the battles ahead. We know what happened when we met Wydad in the first leg. We also know they are a strong team, but we will be well prepared.”
Parker has made it clear that Chiefs are ready for any challenge that Wydad will throw at them, and that Wydad’s win over Chiefs earlier in the group stages will count for naught.
“We owe it to our supporters and to ourselves to do well,” he says. “This is a home game at FNB Stadium, and we must get the three points. They made it difficult for us in the previous game with their tactics and the way they approached the game.”
The veteran attacker also believes that Chiefs will not be naïve going into this game and will be up for the challenge. “We are well aware of their strengths, objectives, methods and tactics,” he confirms. “We are well prepared, and it is up to everyone to execute the plan at six o’clock on Saturday. We have to give it our best and make sure the month of April is good for us.”
For Parker who has played in six of Chiefs eight Champions League games this campaign where he started and finished all six, nothing is more important than Chiefs picking up a win which will in all likelihood make their task heading into their final group game against Horoya simpler.
Wydad landed in Johannesburg on Wednesday morning ahead of Saturday’s clash against Amakhosi at FNB Stadium on Saturday at 18:00. The game will be live online. Links will be shared on our social media platforms.