Bucs coach ‘not under pressure’

Serb unfazed by trophy drought

Orlando Pirates coach Milutin Sredojevic, left, and Chippa United coach Eric Tinkler during the Telkom Knockout last-16 draw at SuperSport Studios in Johannesburg on Monday
Orlando Pirates coach Milutin Sredojevic, left, and Chippa United coach Eric Tinkler during the Telkom Knockout last-16 draw at SuperSport Studios in Johannesburg on Monday
Image: LEFTY SHIVAMBU/GALLO IMAGES

Orlando Pirates’ Serbian coach Milutin “Micho” Sredojevic is adamant he does not feel under pressure despite having nothing to show in the trophy cabinet in his second season in charge of the Buccaneers.

Pirates‚ who last won a trophy in 2014‚ were drawn against Chippa United on Monday in the last-16 round of the Telkom Knockout as they bid to win the cup they last lifted in 2011.

“The only pressure I feel in my life is the pressure from God‚” Sredojevic said after the draw.

“In every competition we are in, we [come] with the highest possible ambition to win, and that is the identity of this great [team] I’m blessed to be head coach [of].”

It has been four seasons since the Buccaneers tasted victory in a cup competition and Sredojevic would be acutely aware that the Ghosts (Pirates’ fans) are not the type that deal well with failure.

“We want to give absolute respect to our first opponent, that is Chippa United, and self respect to ourselves and our supporters by putting performances on the field of play that they demand from us.”

Sredojevic understands he will have to shoulder all the blame‚ and possibly be fired‚ should he fail to deliver silverware in his second season in charge. “I accept all the pressure on my shoulders,” he said.

“Let the legs of our players be unlocked‚ let their legs be freed to express themselves to get the performance that will get us the result we [seek].

“[In the] Telkom Knockout, I would say it’s either you knock out or they knock you.

“With that in mind‚ we have 16 quality teams‚ 16 dreams, and one dream will come true.”

The first available trophy of the campaign eluded Pirates after they were bundled out of the MTN8 on penalties by SuperSport United at the quarterfinal stage in August.

Pirates were knocked out of the TKO on penalties by Polokwane City last season‚ and another failure in this tournament will cast fresh doubts on the Serbian coach’s abilities to win silverware.

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