'No rift' as Pirates ship starts sinking - Times LIVE
Wed Apr 26 19:32:42 SAST 2017

'No rift' as Pirates ship starts sinking

MARK GLEESON | 2017-02-17 07:28:48.0
FANCY FOOTWORK: Bidvest Wits midfielder Phakamani Mahlambi and Happy Jele of Orlando Pirates tussle for possession during the Absa Premiership match between the teams at Orlando Stadium on Wednesday night.

Orlando Pirates' veteran defender Happy Jele has denied speculation of a rift in the squad, making an emphatic statement of unity although the club lost again on Wednesday night.

Jele said reports about infighting among the players were false.

"There is nothing like that going on," he said after Pirates slipped to yet another Absa Premiership defeat, beaten 2-1 by Bidvest Wits at home at Orlando Stadium.

"We are united and we have been working harder each and every day. We don't know about any division because we are united as a team."

Jele said club chairman Irvin Khoza had told the squad on the eve of the game to keep their heads up after last weekend's record-breaking 6-0 drubbing by Mamelodi Sundowns, which precipitated a pitch invasion and ugly riotous scenes at Loftus Versfeld.

"Every big club has moments of transition and loses games, is what [Khoza] told us," Jele said.

Pirates have not won in their last eight games and dropped to 10th place in the Premier Soccer League standings.

Jele scored Bucs' first goal of the year when he pulled one back in the second half on Wednesday.

Pirates will have a new coach on Monday and Jele said players were looking forward to a new beginning.

"When the new coach comes we need to support him. But at Pirates there is always competition for places, whether we have a new coach or not," Jele said.

- TMG Digital


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