Kitchee coach Josep Gombau is hoping for a farewell gift from his side today as they attempt to repeat last year's victory over Sun Pegasus in the FA Cup final at Hong Kong Stadium.
The Spaniard, who will join Australian League side Adelaide United in July, has his last chance of winning silverware this season after surrendering the league title to South China and defeat in the Senior Shield quarter-finals.
"We want to win, but it's not only for me, it's for the entire club," said Gombau, who led his side in a workout at Shek Kip Mei Park yesterday. "It's not easy to win something every year. If we lose, we will finish empty-handed this season which means this is an important tournament for both sides because Pegasus also want to prove themselves in their first season under new management."
Kitchee enjoyed their best season last year when they clinched three trophies - the league championship, the League Cup and FA Cup.
"People will certainly compare the results of the two seasons and we have to acknowledge we are not as good as last season," said captain Chu Siu-kei. "At one stage, we failed to win a match in four games. It was a bit disappointing."
The midfielder and his two national team fellow members - pacesetter Lam Ka-wai and Huang Yang, were all missing in their last match against Citizen in the league, but will be fit for the final.
"We have played a lot of games this season and need a break to refresh," he said. "The match against Citizen carried little importance for us. The FA Cup is our last trophy hope and we also want to present a nice present to the coach before he leaves."
Pegasus coach Chan Chi-hong was relieved after they won their relegation battle with an empathetic 8-2 win over BC Rangers last week.
"We have achieved our first target of keeping our place in the top flight and now all efforts are geared towards the Cup final," he said. "Kitchee certainly have the upper hand as their players have more experience in a cup final, but our morale is high because we have not lost a match this year. Anything can happen in a one-off cup final and we are confident."
Pegasus drew 3-3 with Kitchee in last year's final, but were beaten 5-3 in a penalty shoot-out. If they win today, it will be sweet revenge and will also give them a chance to contest the "Super Cup" to strive for 2014 AFC Cup representation. A loss will hand the opportunity to Southern.