JOHANNESBURG – Orlando Pirates coach Micho Sredojevic appears to be mastering the art of giving credit where it’s due while at the same time playing his cards close to his chest as he mounts an Absa Premiership title challenge.
Following a tough August, where the Buccaneers suffered two league defeats and were also eliminated from the MTN8, Pirates embraced September by finally beating their bogey side SuperSport United 3-1 at the weekend.
Although happy to delve into the game plan and how they eventually managed only their third win against Matsatsantsa in 11 outings, Sredojevic remained coy over the prospects of a Pirates side that’s blown hot and cold so far this season.
He is quickly becoming the king of expressions - and nothing could beat his tactical rationale behind putting three past hoodoo side SuperSport at the Orlando Stadium on Saturday night.
“We have always been a written document, but never complete because we did not have the stamp and signature,” he said. “We looked at the six matches we played in August.
“The document is not valid if it doesn’t have the stamp and signature. We played very well in all six matches, writing the document, but our signature and stamp weren’t there.
“Tonight (Saturday) we went with an intention to write the document, play good football and sign the document - putting the stamp by scoring the goals in order to win the game. We also had luck on our side. I believe that luck follows courageous people and courageous players,” he said.
Sredojevic’s calm nature has also become his team’s DNA, the Bucs rarely panicking in tough situations, especially following poor results. A case in point was when rightback Diamond Thopola replaced Paseka Mako just after the hour mark - a substitution that was meant to thwart the SuperSport attack and close down the game with Pirates leading 1-0.
Bongani Khumalo equalised for the visitors four minutes after the change.
“We put on Thopola so that (Fagrie) Lakay and (Evans) Rusike do not stretch us, and when it didn’t work we had a question that football posed to us.
“We have worked with the scenarios that we have certain answers for,” the coach explained.
“In a negative situation we had to answer with two attacking players - (Thembinkosi) Lorch and (Justin) Shonga, who had fresh legs and had an impact. We still continued to play our football and that paid us back (with Lorch restoring the lead).
We could have even scored a fourth if Shonga had seen (Vincent) Pule on the breakthrough. We always want to find the right tactical answer that’s posed by football.”
Their next assignment is at home against a wounded Cape Town City that was thrashed 4-1 by Kaizer Chiefs in the Mother City earlier on Saturday.
Sredojevic wouldn’t open up about his possible game plan on Wednesday night, but he guaranteed Pirates are already thinking about solving the questions City will ask in that league clash.