'Micho' hails Pirates' character
Orlando Pirates head coach Milutin Sredojevic hailed his side's resilience after a 2-1 victory over Free State stars secured their third win in seven days.
Musa Nyatama and Justin Shonga netted in a quickfire double salvo shortly after the half-time break. Stars striker Eleazar Rodgers pulled a goal back in the 80th minute to make it a nervy final ten minutes for Sredojevic's side, but they held on for a crucial win which saw them go six points clear at the top of the Absa Premiership standings.
Stars made it difficult for the Sea Robbers in the first half, allowing them to enjoy possession in their own half and getting plenty of numbers behind the ball.
“In the first half we played the way we wanted to play. We knew that the opponent was going to play with a reinforced defence. It was very hard to penetrate them but at least we had possessed the ball and created some chances that were not converted,” ‘Micho’ told SuperSport TV.
“At halftime we saw what our problems were and allowed the full-backs to go high up the field providing that edge that was the missing factor in the first half.
“We have done exactly this with quick fire goals with a two goal lead that guaranteed us peaceful ending of the match. But how is it in football, we had chances and scored a goal that was disallowed that I believe should not have been disallowed but that’s the decision of the referee we have to respect,” he continued.
“We had a situation where 2-0 is the most dangerous result, 2-1 brings you on the back foot, you’re fearing not to lose what you already have. I want to give credit to the boys, they fought. This is their third match in seven days, let us put it on that account that they have been tired in the last 15 minutes. But three points are three points, we shall pick it up and move on.”
Pirates beat Bidvest Wits, Black Leopards and then Stars in the space of just a week - a period the Buccanneers' boss likened to 'opening the three doors of hell'.
“I told them we need to open the three doors of hell. It was not easy playing against [Bidvest] Wits, winning, against Black Leopards winning and today to win. I need to give credit to the players we have opened.
And the Serb tactician then turned his focus immediately to the Soweto giants' remaining fixtures.
“Now we’re seeing on the horizon the doors of heaven. But still feet on the ground, respect all the opponents we’ll play against, Maritzburg [United] fighting relegation, Cape Town [City] and the last match against Polokwane City here.
“The mathematics is simple; ours is to take every match as it comes and take every match as a cup final,” he said