MTN8: Vladimir Vermezovic calls for clinical Orlando Pirates

2014-08-16 11:30

Orlando Pirates boss Vladimir Vermezovic says he and his team have shifted their mentality and are approaching each game as if it were their last.

The Buccaneers take on Wits away in Joburg tomorrow in the first-leg semifinal of the MTN8. The Serb has called on the Sea Robbers to improve on their early season form.

“We’re going to play every game as our final game. Of course, it’s very important for us to score in the first game,” Vladimir said ahead of the game at Bidvest Stadium.

“As we have seen in the last few couple of [league] games, there are no favourites, there is no home or away. In this league, anyone can beat anyone.

“I’m not satisfied with the results, but, the way we’ve played these games, I think I must be satisfied.”

Following their win over Soweto rivals Kaizer Chiefs in the Carling Black Label Cup last month, Vermezovic’s outfit have struggled to get their season up and running, losing on the opening day of the league before Bloemfontein Celtic held them to a draw on Wednesday.

A 2-1 win over SuperSport United in the previous round of MTN8 action was Pirates’ best result thus far.

Vermezovic explained that playing a two-legged semifinal was different to any of the other games this season, with the game being decided over 180 minutes.

“This game is totally different [to the Nedbank Cup final] because it’s not 90 minutes, it’s 180 minutes,” the Serbian coach said.

“I know that nothing will be over in the first leg and I also know that Wits expect revenge for the last game we played in Durban.

“I expect a good game. They have a strong team, a quality team, and it will be a very interesting game to play.”

The pair meet tomorrow for the first time since the Buccaneers’ 3-1 victory over Hunt’s side in the final of the Nedbank Cup in Durban in May.

Wits coach Gavin Hunt, meanwhile, admits that the Clever Boys are still some way off from where he would like them to be and has identified the MTN8 semifinals as added game-time, which the team will use to iron out the last of their niggles.

“Over two legs, it’s always difficult, but to get a big game so early in the season is good for us. We need the game, so we’re looking forward to it,” Hunt, now in his second season with Wits, said.

“Right now, a 0-0 will be great for us. That result, not conceding at home, is very important, I’m sure it will be same when we play them there [Orlando Stadium].”

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