'The soul cannot function without food‚' says Pirates coach Sredojevic
Orlando Pirates coach Milutin “Micho” Sredojevic said they are looking at the MTN8 as a springboard for what could be an interesting season for them.
Their MTN8 assault starts on Saturday when they host SuperSport United at the Orlando Stadium.
“Last year‚ it was a soul-healing season and I think the soul has been healed‚" he said.
"However‚ the soul cannot function without food.
"From a mental and tactical perspective‚ we're looking at this tournament as a springboard that could push us into the season.
“What can also be satisfying to see player's body language from a physical and mental perspective when they have given their all and that's what we'll expect on Saturday.
"The game on Saturday is a challenge that we're looking forward to and one we'll approach with ambition.”
Last season's second place finish in the league was somewhat stunted by the fact that they did not win any trophies.
However‚ it was a major improvement from the traumatic 2016/17 season where teams took turns in embarrassing the Buccaneers.
SuperSport United were one of those sides because in that season‚ they beat Pirates 6-1 in a league match in Mbombela while they also scalped them 4-1 in the Nedbank Cup final later in the season.
Pirates have also had a reasonably decent start to the season having collected four points from a possible six with a draw against Highlands Park at home and a 1-0 win against Chippa United in Port Elizabeth on Wednesday night.
For all their 2017/18 travails where they not only parted ways with Eric Tinkler‚ they also flirted with relegation before a late season run catapulted them up the table‚ it's easy to forget that SuperSport won the tournament last season.
They also reached the CAF Confederations Cup final where they fluffed their lines against Congolese side TP Mazembe.
Coach Kaitano Tembo said the players haven't forgotten their responsibility of defending a trophy they earned when they beat Cape Town City on penalties at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban.
SuperSport were also the biggest beneficiaries of Ajax Cape Town's relegation as the "boardroom points" got them into the top eight.
“We are defending champions and we will try to defend this cup‚" Tembo said.
"There's no option and in terms of mandates‚ football is a business and it's always results orientated.
"You can get a three/four year contract but if you don't produce‚ you'll get the sack.
"It's got nothing to do with the process.
"You'll be told to build a team but you also have to produce results.”