JOHANNESBURG – Orlando Pirates boss Milutini “Micho” Sredojevic is waiting anxiously with the hope that the injury sustained by his star forward Thembinkosi Lorch is not as bad as it looked.
Lorch was stretched off the field after sustaining a shoulder injury that hampered his progress last season. He was substituted after the interval this past weekend against AmaZulu in the clubs' PSL encounter.
The Free State-born forward has been in fine goal-scoring form for his side of late, and Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter even regconised Lorch’s diligence.
Sredojevic admitted after the match that they are praying Lorch will be back in time for the clash against Bidvest Wits on April 25.
“We put in Mulenga (Augustine) because Lorch got injured and despite getting an injection he couldn’t continue. I just pray hard because he has had a wonderful season and he was selected for Bafana Bafana.”
“I strongly hope that the injury will not put him out for the rest of the season. It is dislocation orsomething like that, on his shoulder. I hope he will come back in the game against Wits,” Sredojevic said.
Lorch has contributed four goals so far this season. He caught the eyes of the football followers when he netted three goals in three matches against Chippa United, Kaizer Chiefs and Lamontville Golden Arrows. All those goals helped his side to victories.
Sredojevic once again refused to be drawn in the title race debate, despite his side closing the gap to three points on log leaders Mamelodi Sundowns. Pirates are on 49 points after 27 matches while Sundowns are leading the pack with 52 points after 26 outings.
“First of all, people are talking about the title race, we have one week and then we play Bidvest Wits. We have ten days until we play them. We shall use that ten days properly to refresh, regroup, do corrections and analysis on what was wrong and what was right and prepare for the last three matches,” Sredojevic said.
“I’m extremely happy the three points are a huge step towards a placein the Caf Champions League because Africa is waiting for Orlando Pirates."
“But our focus is now on the match against Bidvest Wits,” Sredojevic said, as he ducked the question of being in the title race once again.
“The boys have shown what the jersey means to them. They have shown what the badge means to them. They have shown respect to the supporters here and television,” Sredojevic said.
“They have gave everything and for giving everything they were rewarded with that Thabo Qalinge goal. I want to praise the character of the team because they have shown that this is not an easy place to come to.”
“The team have made a huge step in growing and stabilizing and building confidence. I’m really honoured and privileged to be the coach of this team where everyone has gave their best,” Sredojevic enthused.
Sundowns have an opportunity to extend the lead to six points if they emerge victorious against Lamontville Golden Arrows when they met at Loftus Versfeld tonight at 7.30pm.