Pirates can’t wait for the PSL to take a break for Christmas
ORLANDO PIRATES coach Roger de Sa says his team is looking forward to some much- needed rest when the PSL season goes into a break after tomorrow’s fixtures.
The Soweto club defeated the University of Pretoria 1-0 on Thursday night, while at the same time arch-rivals Kaizer Chiefs moved into the top spot on the league table after a 1-0 victory over Golden Arrows.
Pirates are back in action tomorrow when they host Arrows in Orlando.
Also tomorrow, Chiefs head for Durban to take on an in-form AmaZulu side.
“We need the break,” said De Sa. “With the games we’ve played and how much we’ve travelled, the guys are looking forward to a couple of weeks off, to put their feet up and get their minds off the game.
“That’s important – to come back nice and fresh early January because it’s going to be tough in the second half of the season.”
Thursday’s win was enough to see the Soweto giants safely out of the relegation zone and move up two spots into 13th in the league standings.
With Pirates’ participation in the PSL, the MTN8 and Telkom Knockout Cup competitions, as well as their strenuous African Champions League campaign, they have played 24 games since the beginning of August.
In comparison, a team like Mamelodi Sundowns has played only 14 competitive games in the same period.
“It was the same 11 (players) two games in a row. We have to make sure that we recover, and get the players ready for Arrows on Sunday,” De Sa said.
Reflecting on the Tuks game, De Sa admitted his team struggled to see out the result against opposition who succeeded in frustrating Pirates.
“Tuks didn’t let us play. We always knew they were going to be spoilers and give us a hard time.
“I don’t think we created enough, but we’re happy with the three points.
“There were some positives, some good performances obviously, but overall I think we made too many basic errors and we have to overcome that quickly.”
Meanwhile, Pirates skipper Lucky Lekgwathi said tomorrow’s encounter against Arrows was a must-win if the team was to reach their target for the year. “It was a hardfought win over Tuks. They’re not an easy team to beat, so I’m happy with the three points,” Lekgwathi said.
“After our loss in the final (of the Telkom Knockout to Platinum Stars), we said we want to repay our supporters by winning the three remaining games of the year.
“I’m happy because we’ve won two, we’re left with one and we’re looking forward to Sunday’s game.” – Sapa PSL fixtures Today: FS Stars v Swallows; Polokwane City v SuperSport Utd; Ajax CT v Platinum Stars (Cape Town Stadium, 8.15pm); Wits v Bloemfontein Celtic Sunday: U Pretoria v Black Aces; Pirates v Golden Arrows; AmaZulu v Kaizer Chiefs
LUCKY LEKGWATHI: repaying the fans’.