Krol still building Pirates up for PSL

2008-08-01 00:00

The former Dutch international star will field two different teams should the Buccaneers reach the final of the Telkom Charity Cup at the Mmabatho Stadium today in the annual PSL pipe-opener.

Bucs play Platinum Stars in the first semi-final at 10 am followed at noon by Kaizer Chiefs against Mamelodi Sundowns.

Krol, the former Dutch skipper, used the same tactics last week when he fielded a reserve team against Manchester United in the Vodacom Challenge in Durban and then used his A side against Chiefs in the Challenge playoff last Thursday in Port Elizabeth.

Bucs were beaten 1-0 by the European and English champions and crashed 2-0 to Amakhosi.

“But,” said Krol, “we are still in pre-season training. I want the players to enjoy their training. We learnt from United. But the team I fielded against Chiefs had only 12 days’ training under their belts and that is why the team that played United looked better as they were fitter.”

The club’s international players were given extra holidays after playing in the African Nations Cup qualifiers in June.

Krol will use a mix-and-match policy today. He said that while winning is vital, his priority is getting Pirates ready for the new season.

“Everybody wants to win, but it is more important to me at present to work out the right tactics and combinations.”

He watched Stars play in the African Champions League against Egyptian giants Al Ahly recently and was impressed.

• One of the new Buccaneers who impressed against Manchester United was midfielder Lebogang Mothibantwa.

Mothibantwa is enjoying his move to Pirates from Celtic. But the 24-year-old was given a culture shock in his first few weeks under Krol.

Said Mothibantwa: “I have learnt a lot under the new coach, who is a strict disciplinarian. There is no messing him about. But that is good, we know where we stand and know that we are here to bring success to the club.”

Mothibantwa knows that he will have to fight for his place in the starting line-up this season.

“The competition for places is fierce. It keeps us on our toes. I came to Pirates to win trophies but just wearing the Pirates jersey is a huge honour.”

Mothibantwa said he learned a lot from the experience of playing against Manchester United.

“I was impressed by the way they close down space, their discipline, passing and tactics.”

Sundowns coach Trott Moloto has a huge selection headache after beefing up his squad with 11 new players. He will introduce the likes of striker Sibusiso Zuma, Katlego Mphela, Benedict Vilakazi, Thando Mngomeni and right back Siboniso Gaxa at some stage against Amakhosi.

Chiefs coach Muhsin Ertugral has one or two niggling injury concerns, but he is not likely to make many changes from the squad that did duty in the challenge.

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