Cavin Johnson, coach of AmaZulu congratulates Milutin Sredojevic after the match on Saturday. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

DURBAN – Orlando Pirates coach, Milutin “Micho” Sredojevic loves a player who has the confidence to show off their skills, unlike most foreign coaches.

Foreign coaches have been of criticised in the past for restricting players’ freedom to express themselves, but the Serbian tactician is not on that list.

Pirates turned on the style on Saturday as they got the better of AmaZulu to reach the semi-finals of the Telkom Knockout at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban.

The Buccaneers emerges as 3-1 winners courtesy of a brace from Thembinkosi Lorch and Xola Mlambo’s lone strike. Bongi Ntuli netted the solitary goal for Usuthu.

The likes of Thabo Qalinge and Mlambo started showboating after taking a two goal lead in extra time.

Sredojevic, made it clear to the media after the game that he doesn’t mind his players entertaining supporters.

“You need to understand something, football is played for supporters,” Sredojevic said. “We are here serving them. Last year we healed their souls. This year we want to feed.

“When something like this comes as the team effort (there’s no problem). It was not an intention of disrespecting the opponent. It was an intention of exciting our supporters and thanking them for the support that they have given to us.”

Augustine Mulenga of Orlando Pirates is challenged by Marc Van Heerden of AmaZulu during the 2018 Telkom Knockout quarterfinal match, Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix
Augustine Mulenga of Orlando Pirates is challenged by Marc Van Heerden of AmaZulu during the 2018 Telkom Knockout quarterfinal match, Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Pirates are on the roll. They are unbeaten in their last nine matches in all the competitions and their fans are delighted.

“We want them (our supporters) to go back to their homes happy because life is not a bed of roses. In all the bitterness of their lives we want (them to enjoy) a bit of sweetness and this is exactly what happened. 

I have absolute respect for AmaZulu coach Cavin Johnson and his team. The best way of keeping possession is to keep the ball, and we tried at the end to defend (by keeping possession),” Sredojevic said.

His team is winning, scoring goals and playing well-structured football, but Sredojevic needs to back that up with some silverware.

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Those supporters that he is talking about have endured turbulent times in the last four years. They have even forgotten what it is like to taste success.

Fortunately for the Buccaneers faithful, Sredojevic is aware of the importance of ending the trophy drought in Mayfair.

“Regarding the importance of this Cup, any match or any Cup in Orlando Pirates (colours) is the most important match of our lives and this is how we approach it. As we talk supporters are going back home happy after winning. Let them have the elements of happiness.
 
This is now history and all the focus is on Polokwane City on Tuesday. We are playing against a top competitive team. Rama G (Rodney Ramagalela) and company. We expect a tough match and that is our focus now,” Sredojevic explained.


The Mercury

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