Celtic wary of Bucs backlash

2010-12-09 09:20

Bloemfontein Celtic are wary of a backlash when they face wounded Orlando Pirates in an Absa Premiership clash at the Orlando Stadium on Sunday.

Kick-off is at 3.30pm.

Phunya Sele-Sele coach Clinton Larsen, however, has warned Bucs he feels no sympathy for his former club.

Larsen, a talented midfielder who played for Pirates from 1999 to 2001, said he was surprised by Pirates’ 3-0 defeat to archrivals Kaizer Chiefs in last weekend’s Telkom Knockout final played at the FNB Stadium.

It was Bucs second successive loss to Amakhosi – last month Chiefs clobbered Pirates 3-1 in a league encounter played at the same venue.

“I cannot remember Pirates ever losing twice in a row and so badly to Chiefs. It never happened when I played for Pirates,” said Larsen.

“I can imagine the hurt they are feeling, so they are going to be dangerous.”

But Larsen said Celtic would not be holding back. “We are not going for a draw as we believe we can beat Pirates in their backyard, despite the danger of a backlash.

“The players will want to bounce back, but from my experience it could take them a while to get over two bad defeats and I hope to add to their misery.

“Having said that, I hope to catch them with their heads still down and take the game to them.”

Larsen, who was this week named Premiership Coach of the Month will have little mercy for under fire Bucs head coach Ruud Krol whose tenure at Pirates is hanging by a thread.

The former Dutch captain looks to be on his way out.

If he is still in charge on Sunday and loses, he will be looking for another job.

Pirates management’s patience is stretched to breaking point and they have made no secret of their unhappiness with the way Pirates lost in the Knockout final.

But that is now Larsen’s concern. In his first season as head coach Larsen has done well and Celtic are fifth after nine matches with 16 points – five off the pace of leaders Mamelodi Sundowns.

“We have a talented squad, but what has impressed me is the way some of the youngsters have come through.”

Larsen was singing the praises of his two young fullbacks Kgotso Moleko and Prince Hlela, central defender Erick Mathoho and winger Danny Venter.

“We always talk about the so called big names but those young guys have put their hands up and are now getting regular game time. I expect them to more than hold their own against Pirates.”

Krol needs to shake up his squad and he is expected to ring the changes.

Bucs spokesman Mickey Modisane, has appealed to fans to rally around their side.

Players such as midfielder Teko Modise, who has been largely discarded, speedy winger Tlou Segolela who spent time on loan at Celtic and striker Katlego Mashego, are in the reckoning.

In Sunday’s other fixture struggling Mpumalanga Black Aces host Ajax Cape Town at the Puma Stadium in Witbank (3.30pm).

Chiefs, who are riding the crest of the wave, play Free State Stars at the Botshabelo Stadium on Saturday (3.30pm).

Amakhosi skipper Jimmy Tau, stressed that after winning the Knockout, they were ready to launch their challenge for the league.

“Stars will not be an easy game. We have to forget Pirates and the cup and focus on winning league points.”

Golden Arrows, under Montenegrin coach Zoran Filipovic, pose a threat to leaders Sundowns when they clash at the Chatsworth Stadium on Saturday (3.30pm).

Arrows are in third position, four points behind Downs and will prove to be a big test for the big spending and ambitious Downs.

Bidvest Wits play AmaZulu at Milpark at 6pm, champions SuperSport United entertain Platinum Stats at the Lucas Moripe Stadium (8.15pm) while in Saturday’s other fixture Santos meet bottom club Moroka Swallows at the Athlone Stadium also at 8.15pm.

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