Thursday Aug 15, 2019. 17:30
Orlando Pirates coach Micho Sredojevic has called his side’s defending “unacceptable” after they lost 3-0 to SuperSport United in a league clash on Wednesday, the continuation of a lacklustre start to the new season for the ambitious Buccaneers.
Fresh from a 1-0 loss to Zambian side Green Eagles in the CAF Champions League at the weekend, Sredojevic had expected his side to bounce back with purpose, but instead slumped even further.
With a fixture in the lucrative MTN8 against Highlands Park on Saturday, Sredojevic, who leads an expensively assembled technical team and playing squad, will know a quick improvement is needed.
“Conceding those goals is totally unacceptable,” he said.
“We need to go back to the drawing board from the point of defending, from a point of build-ups, because we are in the point of back-passing the ball instead of looking to pass the ball forward.”
“We came with an ambition to bounce back after the Zambia trip. We have put in four positions players that could bring the new energy.
“Justice Chabalala in defence, Thabiso Monyane on the flank, Fortune Makaringe in the central midfield and [Gabadinho] Mhango up front, as we needed an injection of fresh legs and new energy.
“In that regard, everything went well until, due to that scholarship mistake of risking the last line being under pressure, we conceded that [first] goal.”
Sredojevic gave an honest assessment of where his squad is currently and admits they have a number of different issues.
“Now, going to our next match, we are having players that are not in best possible shape. We are having team tactical problems and exactly this needs to be a topic that we need to prepare ourselves against a fresh and tough team [Highlands Park] to bounce back and win.”
Pirates have finished runners-up in the last two league seasons and not won a trophy since they lifted the 2014 Nedbank Cup.
The MTN8 should be a firm target, brining not only a lucrative pay-day of R8-million, but also a chance to break their barren silverware run.