Competition in squad is key – Njenje

2012-03-23 15:09

Creating fierce competition for places on the team is a key strategy for Orlando Pirates caretaker coach Augusto “Njenje” Palacios.

Pirates will meet Free State Stars in the Nedbank Cup clash at 8pm at Orlando Stadium tomorrow.

Palacios said he had created fierce competition for places since he took over two weeks ago.

“I’m going to try and create competition in all places. Some of the players are very versatile. I’d like to have at least two or more players fighting for the same position this season. That way we can keep the players on their toes and not let any complacency in,” he added.

Palacios, who is also a development coach at Pirates, said he had emphasised discipline.

“I told the players that they have to abide by the rules. They have to give their best. There won’t be any special treatment. All players are equal here.

“They just need to convince me during training and on the field of play. If I give them a chance and if they don’t perform, they’re not going to be in the next starting line-up. There is serious competition here, and players know there’s no time to relax,” added Palacios.

He also promised to afford young players an opportunity to play for the senior team.

Palacios added that he wouldn’t hesitate to use a number of the talented youngsters in his first team if he felt they were capable of stepping up to the challenge.

“This will be an opportunity to look at where some of the younger players are at. We will be fielding a few who haven’t played for the senior team before and this will be a stock-take to see where they are at,” he said.

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