Harrison cool under pressure in his Arrows debut

2013-10-23 00:00

IT has been a long wait for Mark Harrison, but the Englishman will have his first match in charge of Golden Arrows tonight in a Telkom Knock-out quarter-final against Orlando Pirates in Soweto.

There couldn’t be a much more difficult debut for Harrison, who took charge of the Lamontville club on October 6, but the coach doesn’t seem to show any signs of fear or nervousness.

“I am a coach that likes to play an attacking brand of football. I am not the type to arrive at a game and try to pinch points. I like to take the game to the opposition,” Harrison said in the build-up to tonight’s match.

Harrison’s attacking intentions were made clear when he confirmed that he will more than likely be favouring a 4-3-3 formation in his initial period at Arrows.

“I like to play the ball wide and use the speed of the wings,” he said.

Pirates only returned from Tunisia yesterday after they secured qualification to the Caf Champions League final by overcoming Esperance at the weekend. But Harrison is not expecting fatigue to have any impact on tonight’s affair.

“They [Pirates] have a big squad — they’ll be fine,” said Harrison. “We never expect a side like Pirates to lie down, especially when they are playing at home.”

Pirates coach Roger de Sa lauded the professionalism of his players upon returning to the country yesterday, saying that their attention had immediately shifted to tonight’s match when it might be easier to bask in continental glory.

Harrison inherited a large squad from former coach Manqoba Mngqithi, but it is a squad largely made up of inexperienced youngsters.

“We probably have 19 or 20 players with experience, and the rest are youngsters,” said Harrison, adding that he would favour experience over youth in his team selection. “Still, it is a nice blend. I have been happy with what I have seen from the lads. There is an excellent spirit and we have used the break to all get on the same page.”

Arrows advanced to this stage of the competition with a shock 3-2 win away at Wits on October 4 in what would be Mngqithi’s last match in charge.

Another upset win tonight would put them within two matches of cup glory, and set Harrison’s tenure at the club up perfectly.

The draw for the semi-finals will take place after tonight’s match. Kaizer Chiefs, Platinum Stars and SuperSport United have already qualified.

Tonight’s match kicks off at 7.30 pm and will be televised on SuperSport 4.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.