Pi­rates can’t wait for the PSL to take a break for Christ­mas

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT -

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’.


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