An uphill faces already bruised Buccaneers

2009-11-03 13:44

ORLANDO Pirates will have to pick up their socks if they are to end

their four-match winless streak when they host unpredictable Maritzburg United

in an Absa Premiership clash at the Orlando Stadium tomorrow night. Kick-off is

at 7.30pm.

United coach Gordon Igesund, who won the premiership title and the

BP Top Eight cup with the Buccaneers in the 2000/01 season, said he expected

Pirates to attack but hoped to add to Pirates’ mid-season slump.

Igesund said the fact that Pirates had picked up only one point

from a possible 12 (four matches) and three points from their last six matches,

makes them dangerous.

He watched Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs huff and puff to a dull 0-0

draw in the Soweto Derby played at the Soweto venue on Saturday, but was not

reading too much into that match.

He said: “From my experience of the derby I know what pressure

there is on players and coaches, so I am expecting a different game and for

Pirates to approach when they meet us.”

Igesund pinpointed Pirates’ main problem when he said the players

appear low on confidence. “That is something you cannot switch on and off. We

went through a mini slump but a win and two draws in our last three matches have

seen us recover.

“Confidence has to be built and the only way to do that is by

winning. I realise what Pirates are going through and despite their problems

they are a quality side with a top-class coach and are well-organised.”

He also stressed that he would come to Soweto and play positive

soccer. “I am going for a result which I believe we can achieve and that means

we aim to take the game to Pirates.” To this end Igesund will be looking at his

in-form strikers Fadlu Davids and Brice Aka to unsettle the Bucs’ defence.

Coach Ruud Krol finds himself under pressure to get Pirates’ title

ambitions back on track. The former (Holland), the Netherlands, defender and

captain has complained about his players, such as Teko Modise, being

tired.

Modise is going through a rough patch, but he is not the only one,

he said.

The Buccaneers have only scored 10 goals in 13 matches.

Strikers Katlego Mashego, Terror Fanteni, Gert Schalkwyk and

Siphelele Mthembu need to come to the party otherwise this is going to be

another season without any silverware for the team.

Bucs’ spokesperson Mickey Modisane said the strikers need to show

more composure in front of goals. “This is going to be another difficult game

for us, but it is vital we collect three points and keep in sight of leaders

SuperSport United who are six points ahead of us at the top of the table.”

Modisane said the team’s wing players lacked sparkle against Chiefs

and hoped the likes of Dikgang Mabalane – that is if he gets a chance to start –

and Bennett Chenene, will supply the strikers with goalscoring

opportunities.

Meanwhile, Modisane said captain and midfield anchorman Benson

Mhlongo is still undergoing tests on the knee he damaged in the 2-1 away loss to

AmaZulu last Wednesday. “I am not sure how long Mhlongo will be out but it does

not look good at this stage.”

SuperSport will be hoping to stretch their lead when they face

struggling Platinum Stars at the Super Stadium at 7.30pm. The defending

champions and current log leaders edged a 2-1 win over BidVest Wits on Sunday

while Stars crashed 1-0 at home to Moroka Swallows in their fixture played at

the weekend.

The Dube Butcher Birds face a tough assignment when they entertain

Mamelodi Sundowns at the Dobsonville Stadium tomorrow at 7.30pm. The Brazilians

revived their spirits with a 3-1 win at the weekend over struggling Jomo Cosmos,

but with both sides blowing hot and cold this season, a draw is on the

cards.

In another evening clash, Chiefs are tipped to collect three points

against rookies Mpumalanga Black Aces, who are finding life in the top flight

tough.

The clash at the Puma Rugby Stadium in Witbank is set to attract a

capacity crowd. Kick-off is at 7.30pm.


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