Football is not PlayStation‚ and Pirates have no intention of playing in patches‚ says Micho
Orlando Pirates coach Milutin Sredojevic does not believe that his team are an illustration of former Blackburn Rovers striker Benni McCarthy’s argument that South African footballers have a culture of playing in patches.
Pirates meet Zimbabwe’s FC Platinum in a Caf Champions League Group B game at Orlando Stadium on Saturday night (kickoff 9pm) with the aim of beating the team they drew against in Bulawayo‚ and possibly making it an unprecedented two SA clubs in the quarterfinals.
Mamelodi Sundowns‚ the 2016 champions‚ are in a strong position to progress from Group A.
Pirates have conceded then come back into the game in four of their last five Absa Premiership matches‚ including their 1-1 draw against Bloemfontein Celtic at Orlando on Tuesday night.
Such performances appear a confirmation of what Cape Town City coach McCarthy said after his team came back from 2-0 down to beat Bidvest Wits 3-2 last week – that European players are aggressive for 90 minutes‚ but PSL players appear to manage themselves and play in patches.
“As a football person I need to tell you that‚ believe me‚ this is not PlayStation‚” Sredojevic said.
“And you cannot plan that in the first half you will reserve your energy‚ then you will put your best in the second half.
“Players are human beings with feelings and emotions. And I can tell you‚ from the way they are turned on before the match‚ you k now that they will give everything.
“However‚ football is an unpredictable game. You can plan so many things. And this is why people love football on this planet. Nobody has ever won anything by talking in advance – it is what you put on the field of play.
“It is‚ I would say‚ really unfortunate that in those games we appeared to need a provocation [to play].
“But believe me there is nothing from the point where‚ subconsciously or whatever‚ anyone plans for that.
“You are preparing yourself as a technical team for all scenarios.
“That is‚ we are leading and how to bring the game to an end. We are equal and how to up the game and win. We are down and how to become equal‚ and looking to win.
“We have players who absolutely abide by whatever we are planning and looking at.
“And it’s not PlayStation – you cannot plan certain things.
“We just need‚ technically‚ to look at and provide a certain factor – which is to create much more‚ and provide much more bringing the ball into the area where we can endanger the goal.
“From more chances there is that law of averages that if we had perhaps 10 more shots at least one more would enter.
“We now have a bridge with [Group B’s last-placed] Platinum and [second-placed] Horoya. And it would be very nice to bring a South African team into the Champions League quarterfinals.”
After hosting Platinum‚ third-placed Pirates also travel to Guinea to meet Horoya next Saturday (March 16).