DURBAN – Orlando Pirates management have done everything to show their desire to win the league and all that is left for coach Milutin “Micho” Sredojevic and his troops is to deliver the Absa Premiership trophy.
This is according to former Pirates boss, Gordon Igesund.
The former Bafana Bafana coach is fit to speak with authority on the subject of Pirates and championships as he was at the helm when the Buccaneers lifted the league title in the 2000/01.
The Sea Robbers have been on a shopping spree during this off-season, signing the likes of Siphesihle Ndlovu, Tshegofatso Mabasa, Bongani Sami, Kabelo Dlamini, Joris Dell, Gabadinho Mhango and Fortune Makaringe.
It is a clear statement of intent from the Sea Robbers that they want to end the dominance of Mamelodi Sundowns. The Brazilians have got the better of Pirates in the past two seasons leaving them to settle for second place.
Igesund believes that now is time for Micho and his technical team to deliver because the expectations from the Bucs fans will be high in the new season.
“Pirates will try and win the championship. For teams like Pirates, Sundowns, Kaizer Chiefs and Bidvest Wits there will be pressure. Obviously there will be added pressure on Pirates, Sundowns and Chiefs.
“It has now been two seasons for Micho to get things right. They have gone into the market aggressively,” said the former coach who holds the unique honour of winning four league titles with four different clubs.
Pirates have not tasted success since 2014 and have come agonisingly close on a number of occasions in both the league and in knockout tournaments.
“Obviously the players that they have signed have been identified by the technical team and everyone around them to try and improve Pirates’ performance. The talk of improvement for Pirates can only mean winning the league.
Micho has done a good job with the team but finishing second or third, in the eyes of the fans, will be the same as finishing sixth. Finishing in the top eight doesn’t make much difference in teams like Pirates,” he added.
Pirates have released the likes of Thabo Matlaba, Jackson Mabokgwane, Ayanda Nkosi, Thabo Qalinge, Phetso Maphanga, Diamond Thopola, Mesheck Maphangule and Abbubaker Mobara as part of the plan “to bring balance” to their squad.
“I think this is the year where the pressure will be mostly on Pirates because people will say for the last two seasons you’ve been building and now you know what you want.
They will be expected to win it and even the coach will tell you that,” Igesund elaborated.
The last time Pirates won the league was in the 2011/12 season.