Orlando Pirates coach Rhulani Mokwena says he is not feeling the pressure after their Telkom Knockout elimination by Kaizer Chiefs, but instead looking to find consistency for his improving side.
The Buccanneers lost a penalty shootout on Saturday afternoon after a 2-2 draw with Amakhosi, but drew plenty of plaudits for showing a lot of fight after going down to 10 men early in the second half.
However, Pirates have now been eliminated from the Caf Champions League, MTN8 and lately the TKO under Mokwena, which has greatly diminished the club’s chances of ending its five-year trophy drought.
But the young coach insists he’s not feeling the pressure. He is instead trying to bring some consistency to his team as they prepare for a midweek clash with Maritzburg United before another Soweto derby on Saturday, this time in the league.
‘For us we don’t feel the pressure. For us, we don’t feel the crisis. Ours is to make sure now that we stay consistent because we’ve proven that we can win games. We have to find that bit of consistency and win two games, four games in a row and that’s what we [will] focus on,’ Mokwena said.
‘I need to put things into perspective. Let us look at Orlando Pirates’ last five games including this one against Kaizer Chiefs. It ended 2-2 and we lose on penalties. Unfortunately this one we lose it to our bitter rivals.
‘That is difficult to swallow because we feel that we should have won the game. Midweek we went to Makholung Stadium where Pirates have struggled to get three points and for the first time we picked up three points.
‘So, in Pirates’ last five matches, there’s two wins, two draws and one defeat. If that is not an upward trajectory and you don’t see that as progress, then I don’t know what it is,’ he added.
Pirates may have struggled through this unexpected transition but Mokwena believes that a couple of good results can turn their season around.
‘No team can win every single game. From where we came, from losing games and conceding goals week in and week out, we’ve managed to stabilise the ship.
‘The reality is that we are two points off top spot. It makes the very next league game very important, so that we can get a little bit closer to competing for the championship. That’s what we have to focus on right now,’ he concluded.
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