Orlando Pirates coach Milutin Sredojevic is not concerned about Rhulani Mokwena ahead of Wednesday's clash against his former team Sundowns. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

DURBAN – Orlando Pirates tactician Milutin “Micho” Sredojevic has expressed his concern about his team’s lack of firepower in front of goal.

Pirates progressed to the quarter-final of the Telkom Knockout after beating Lamontville Golden Arrows by a solitary strike from Thabo Qalinge at the Princess Magogo Stadium in KwaMashu on Saturday.

The Buccaneers have shown major refinement under the leadership of Micho, especially at the back.

Last season, Pirates conceded 40 goals in 30 league matches, but have conceded five goals in this campaign after nine league outings.

While the defence has shown improvement, it has been the opposite upfront, which is something that is worrying the Serbian Sredojevic.

“Yes, we won the game, but it is a worrying factor (that we seem to be scoring one goal per match), and I accept that. We are having that problem after scoring one goal. We always fail to score the second goal.

“We are always hoping that the floodgates will open, but unfortunately, we don’t succeed to achieve that. This is worrying, that factor that we need to work on,” Sredojevic admitted.

Pirates have only scored twice on one occasion this season, playing to a 2-2 stalemate against Polokwane City.

In nine matches, Pirates have netted seven goals. They have won by a single goal on four occasions against Chippa United, Ajax Cape Town, Cape Town City and Arrows this season.

They drew 1-1 and 0-0 against Baroka FC, Platinum Stars, Kaizer Chiefs and Maritzburg United respectively this season. Pirates also lost 1-0 to Bidvest Wits in a league encounter.

On Wednesday, Pirates will welcome former African champions Mamelodi Sundowns at Orlando Stadium in an Absa Premiership clash.

“We rested Wayne Sandilands because this was a cup match and we have a long season ahead of ourselves. We gave confidence to Jackson Mabokgwane. Wayne will be ready for the match against Sundowns,” Sredojevic said.

“I have the highest possible degree of respect for Sundowns their coach Pitso Mosimane, he is my brother. It will be a different ball game against Sundowns. The form is not important when you play these type of matches.

“It doesn’t matter whether they lost against Chiefs or not or we haven’t won in four league matches. It will be a totally different game. I would love to invite our supporters to come in their numbers to support us in this huge match.

“I believe that we deserve their support after our performances in the derby and today. It is a very important match against Sundowns,” Sredojevic elaborated.

Rhulani Mokwena who is now assisting Micho, will come up against his former side Sundowns. Mokwena served as the second assistant coach to Sundowns boss Mosimane.

He was involved when they won the Caf Champions League, Caf Super Cup and Absa Premiership.

“I won’t speak about that. Rhulani is a top-class gentleman. He always gives 200% to the technical team with all of his experience and qualities.

“I’m extremely satisfied and happy with him and his support. We should not put it in that direction.

“It is not about him and Sundowns, but it is Pirates and Sundowns. He will contribute as usual and he is the best,” Sredojevic explained.

The last time these two giants met, Sundowns humiliated Pirates 6-0 at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria. 

 

Isolezwe, IOL Sport