Orlando Pirates coach Rhulani Mokwena insists that losing captain Happy Jele is not a big blow for the club as they’ve ‘got enough ammunition’ in the squad.
The Buccaneers’ poor run in the Absa Premiership continued after they were held to a goalless draw by Maritzburg United at the Orlando Stadium on Tuesday evening.
Pirates finished the game with 10 men after Jele received his marching orders with two yellow cards in quick succession.
However, Mokwena believes that his side have enough quality to field against Kaizer Chiefs on Saturday.
‘Not really, we’ve got enough ammunition, we’ve got 34 players at Orlando Pirates, so we don’t complain about losing anybody. Today we didn’t have [Thembinkosi] Lorch from suspension, we didn’t have [Mthokozisi] Dube from suspension but we managed to put on a strong team on the pitch.
‘They gave their all to win the game, that’s all you can ask for, even when they were one man down, 10 versus 11, you couldn’t really tell once more which team was man short. So like I said, Mlungisi needs to go back to the drawing board.
‘If you look at the incidents and check how the yellow cards came … the only thing is just to be consistent [match officials]. I remember playing against Cape Town City at the very same stadium and [Thamsanqa] Mkhize was on a second yellow [card] and the referee had the yellow in his pocket and then he put it back to his pocket. For me all it says we just need a bit of consistency but I don’t want to talk about referees.
‘You know my stance. They need help, whatever assistance they can get, be it goalline technology, be it VAR , I don’t know … be it human resources, more from the educational perspective, I don’t know. But it is what it is – my focus is on trying to be the best coach I can be for Orlando Pirates at this moment in time and not to speak on behalf of referees,’ he concluded.
Orlando Pirates will take on Kaizer Chiefs in their next Absa Premiership encounter at the FNB Stadium on Saturday afternoon at 3:30pm.
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