Thembinkosi Lorch lets the cat out of the bag - Orlando Pirates are gunning for the league title

25 February 2019 - 11:16 By Mark Gleeson
Orlando Pirates' winger Thembinkosi Lorch skips away from a challenge from AmaZulu captain and midfielder Nhlanhla Vilakazi during the Absa Premiership at the Orlando Stadium in Soweto on the February 23 2019.
Orlando Pirates' winger Thembinkosi Lorch skips away from a challenge from AmaZulu captain and midfielder Nhlanhla Vilakazi during the Absa Premiership at the Orlando Stadium in Soweto on the February 23 2019.
Image: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Milutin Sredojevic kept up the same mantra but his star performer Thembinkosi Lorch diverted off the script as the pair discussed Orlando Pirates’ prospects for the rest of the season after Saturday’s 4-1 win over AmaZulu propelled them back up to second place in the league standings.

The Pirates coach has studiously avoided making any predictions during his almost two season tenure at the club‚ ducking and diving questions about his side’s championship-winning prospects with lengthy diatribes or‚ as was the case on Saturday night‚ the cliched ‘we are only focusing on the next game’ quote.

But Lorch‚ sitting next to him at the post-match press conference‚ displayed a more realistic outlook as he confessed Pirates’ players were indeed thinking about the possibility of taking the title and that he also had his eye on the Player of the Season award.

It was a refreshing diversion from a tired text that robs the public of a peak at the human side of the Pirates camp.

Lorch was at the news conference along with his coach after winning yet another man of the match award and was asked first about whether he had his sights on the PSL’s Player of the Season award‚ which is handed out just days after the campaign finishes in May.

“I would like to be the Player of the Season but must focus on the team first‚” he responded.

As for the title race‚ he added: “We still have a chance to win the league.”

That will come as more inspiration for the Buccaneers’ supporters than Sredojevic’s insistence on avoiding any title talk‚ even with nine games to go in the campaign and an absorbing four-way race for honours emerging.

“We don’t want to speak about that.

"We are having our strict targets and the first thing we are thinking about how we are going to play against Golden Arrows and their top coach and how to match them and out play them‚” said Sredojevic.

Pirates are away at the Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium‚ outside Durban‚ next Saturday.

“It will be a tough match and we will try our best to put on a good performance and get the result.

“This is only what we are focused on. The rest of the things are too far away.

“There is still too much to be played for. We don’t want to set our sights beyond Durban and Arrows and our brother Steve Komphela.

“The rest of things we have no right to think about‚” he said‚ contradicting Lorch.

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