Mokwena delighted with three points at Highlands

Rulani Mokwena (Gallo Images)
Rulani Mokwena (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Interim coach Rulani Mokwena admits he was relieved to secure a 1-0 victory over Highlands Park in Tembisa on Tuesday evening.

The Soweto giants have endured a difficult start to the Absa Premiership season and came into the Highlands clash having failed to win in their previous three league games, but Tshegofatso Mabasa scored a late winner to give Mokwena's men a narrow win.

Despite the win, Pirates are still some way off the pace down in eighth position in the standings, but Mokwena's spirit has been lifted by the positive result.

"We've played better but to be honest we don't care at this point in time, we just take the three points," Mokwena told SuperSport TV.

"We take a win and we breathe a sigh of relief at this point in time and congratulate the players grinding it out today.

"We asked them to grind it out, keep a clean sheet and that's what they did. Congratulations to the Orlando Pirates players, they deserve the victory today.

"Sometimes it feels like we're in trouble but it's because the ball are coming in, the crosses, long throws are coming in to the box, that's the percentage football they play and we have to deal with it.

"Gallant performance from the players once again, a fight, very worthy of the three points today. A lot more verticality, Highlands are strong, very organised they do man-marking orientation all over the pitch very well, they are a difficult side to beat, not a lot of teams will come here and get three points, so we take it.

"It's also the first time we've beaten Highlands Park, we're humble, we keep our feet on the ground and we move on to the next one.

"We didn't change much [in the second-half], just a bit of tactical discipline, sometimes we had to alter the structure a little bit, we don't normally play this way, we had to play a little different because they man-mark.

"Sometimes if you have far too much movement, then you block certain areas of the pitch and that's what they want. We had to try to be smart a little bit but today the most important thing was the result, we take it and congratulate the players, well done and well deserved."

- TeamTalk Media

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