After beating Polokwane City for the first time in three years, Orlando Pirates coach Milutin Sredojevic hailed his team for getting over the ‘mental hill’ by snapping their winless streak against the team from Limpopo.
The Buccaneers last beat the Rise and Shine in 2015 but followed that up with a seven-game winless run against the men from Limpopo which came to an end on Tuesday night as goals from Marcelo da Silva and Justin Shonga fired the Soweto giants to a 2-1 win.
Despite changing much of his starting line-up, due to Pirates’ participation in the Telkom Knockout just 72 hours before the clash against City, Sredojevic managed to guide his team to a vital three points ahead of their clash against title rivals Sundowns
‘After the Telkom Knockout we came here 72 hours [after] to play the game. We had an imbalanced squad, five of them that were having fresh legs and five of them with the match-fitness from Saturday,’ Sredojevic told SuperSport TV.
The Serbian coach then proceeded to give his outlook on the game, ‘First half we didn’t start well. The opponent was dominating in the first 15 minutes. We were cagey in the first half, limited chances, limited space.
‘At halftime we sorted out what we were supposed to sort – to provide the numbers going forward. Scoring that goal we could wrap up the game, scoring the second goal I’m so happy for [Justin] Shonga, he’s so much under pressure. But in the last three games he assisted three goals and scored one goal. This is extra contribution.’
‘The instructions were clear that we don’t defend by sitting back but by possessing the ball. And when you possess the opponent is rushing to chase the result. You’re making mistakes, this is how the corner came and we conceded that goal.
‘These three points mean a lot to us especially as since 2015 Pirates have not beaten Polokwane [City] so even that mental hill we jumped over and succeeded. The win means a lot to us because confidence you can get only by winning,’ concluded Sredojevic.