“It’s a very disappointing result, I don’t know where the problem is,” said Orlando Pirates coach Milutin Sredojevic about the draw with African Stars. Photo: BackpagePix

JOHANNESBURG – Micho Sredojevic is a renowned players’ coach, a man who hardly ever throws his team under the bus.

And so on the rare occasions you hear him point the blame at his troops, it is warranted.

This was the case after Orlando Pirates’ surprise goalless draw with Namibian champions African Stars at the weekend.

“Maybe (this is) one of the poorest attacking performances from our team,” Micho said after the match.

“It’s a very disappointing result, I don’t know where the problem is.”

Typically though, that was where the “attack” on the players ended, the amiable coach almost trying to absolve the players of blame.

“I don’t know whether we were emotionally exhausted from the final (Telkom Knockout against Baroka FC), and the match against Free State Stars.

“We tried our best, but it was not meant to be. We have a week ahead of us; we will critically look at what was wrong.”

Pirates are away to Stars in Windhoek for the second leg, needing to win or a draw with goals to progress to the Caf Champions League group stages.

While disappointed they did not win, Micho took solace from the fact that they kept a clean-sheet at Orlando Stadium.

“Half of the target was not conceding (which we achieved). But we wanted to travel to Windhoek much easier (with a win), but it didn’t happen.”

Now the Buccaneers have the equivalent of a mountain to climb in the second leg.

And their coach knows he has to prepare his team for a massive match that will be nothing like the one-sided stalemate from the past weekend, in which the opposition simply sat back and hoped to catch them on the break.

“It will be a different ball-game there because the opponent will be at home and with the advantage of artificial grass,” Sredojevic said.

“When you have that in mind, you need to prepare well. We look forward to winning or drawing with goals.

“We believe in what we are doing and the players we have. We’ll pull (up) our socks and the sleeves, and work hard enough and conclude to get the results and go to the group stage.”

The Ghost no doubt expect nothing less from their team.

Fail to do that, and Micho should start fearing for his future on the Pirates bench.

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