Lorch keen to reconnect with consistent form in TKO
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The performances of Orlando Pirates have dipped alarmingly, confidence is ebbing away and the nostalgic optimism generated by Milutin Sredojevic last season has evaporated.
The Buccaneers have endured turbulent times since Rhulani Mokwena took over the coaching reigns.
Under the tenure of Mokwena, they have already been bundled out of both the Caf Champions League and the MTN8.
The Soweto giants haven’t tasted success in the past five years, Pirates last winning a trophy when they lifted the Nedbank Cup in 2014.
This much Thembinkosi Lorch understands. The PSL Footballer of the Year winner last season admits that his triumph was pretty shallow given the club’s failure to win silverware.
“I’ll be happy if I win a trophy with my team this season. I believe that the club has assembled a very good squad that can compete on all fronts,” Lorch told Independent Media.
The Buccaneers entertain Stellenbosch FC in a first round Telkom Knockout tie at Orlando Stadium this afternoon (3pm). It is a competition Pirates won once, in 2011. They were losing finalists against Baroka FC last season and Lorch would love to make up for that penalty shoot-out defeat.
He knows that for that to happen he has to be at the top of his game.
“It is important to stay consistent. I don’t want to be in a situation where I play one game well and then in the next game I’m a different player."
Lorch has been a pale shadow of the player who was the talk of the South African football scene in the previous campaign. Back then he was such hot property that he even attracted the attention of European clubs. Now, he is yet to rattle the net or create an opportunity for his teammates in the new season.
“I have to stay humble and keep on working hard. I always go to the gym for my extra training. That is very helpful for my fitness.”
The national selectors have shown faith in Lorch despite his poor form at club level. Last weekend, he featured for Bafana Bafana as they defeated Mali 2-1 in a Mandela Challenge match at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth.
Lorch showed some flashes of brilliance in that game which is a sign that he could be on his way back to his best. He created the second goal that was scored by Themba Zwane.
No doubt coach Mokwena and Pirates will be pinning their hopes on Lorch rediscovering his form this afternoon to help them advance to the next stage of the Telkom Knockout.
Independent on Saturday
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