Ro­ta­tion of play­ers work­ing for Pi­rates

Mi­cho leaves Pitso in a guess­ing game as big match looms

Sowetan - - Sport - By Tiyani wa ka Mabasa

Or­lando Pi­rates’s start­ing XI un­pre­dictabil­ity could prove cru­cial against Mamelodi Sun­downs at Lof­tus Sta­dium on Satur­day.

Bucs’s tech­ni­cal team have de­vel­oped a ten­dency to throw in a sur­prise for the op­po­nents by mak­ing a lot of changes in be­tween matches and it’s been work­ing.

It was no dif­fer­ent against Polok­wane City, whom they beat 2-1 at Peter Mok­aba Sta­dium on Tues­day. Brazil­ian de­fender Caio Marcelo and striker Justin Shonga were on tar­get, with the hosts re­ply­ing late in the match through Ayanda Nk­ili.

From Pi­rates’ 3-1 win over AmaZulu in the Telkom Knock­out quar­ter­fi­nals last week­end, coach Mi­cho Sre­do­je­vic and his tech­ni­cal team made six changes to their start­ing eleven that fea­tured against Rise and Shine, but were still able to come away with max­i­mum points to go top of the log.

It was the first time Pi­rates had beaten City in seven matches. “First of all Pi­rates, for more than six times, had not won against Polok­wane City when you count even the (Telkom Knock­out) last year,” said the Ser­bian.

“We had that in our mind and we re­ally wanted to stretch our­selves as hu­manly pos­si­ble.”

Quizzed about the next big clash against Sun­downs, Sre­do­je­vic said, “no com­ment” and that leaves the Brazil­ians coach Pitso Mosi­mane in a guess­ing game about what to ex­pect from Pi­rates.

But the num­bers don’t lie and Sre­do­je­vic has his own con­cerns ahead of the en­counter in Pre­to­ria. The Soweto side has been con­ced­ing goals all the time, which has led to just one clean sheet in 12 league matches.

“We are a team that plays foot­ball in our own way and we are risk­ing – we are not sit­ting back,” he con­tin­ued. “But I agree that we need to tighten things up (in de­fence), es­pe­cially in set pieces and in open play in or­der to keep the clean sheets.

“I also want to say that when you play for goals more (than de­fend­ing) and we want to win ev­ery match, then of course you are leav­ing some spa­ces (at the back) and des­tined pos­si­bly to con­cede. We must just find the per­fect bal­ance,” Sre­do­je­vic ad­mit­ted.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.