Bucs must sharpen Caf, PSL focus

Orlando Pirates coach Milutin Sredojevic
Orlando Pirates coach Milutin Sredojevic

Orlando Pirates must throw all their energy and focus into winning the Caf Champions League and Absa Premiership‚ coach Milutin Sredojevic said after their defeat by Black Leopards in the Nedbank Cup first round.

In front of a lively capacity crowd in the Thohoyandou Stadium on Saturday night‚ Pirates were held to a 1-1 draw at the end of extra time by Leopards and lost 5-4 on penalties.

Bucs‚ now approaching five seasons without a trophy‚ have the Champions League – where they have had a good start in the group stage – and the league to fight for to end their silverware drought.

“We are very disappointed with the outcome of the game and fully aware we were coming here with so many factors against us‚” Sredojevic said.

“And then instead of us countering the opponent‚ we were allowing ourselves to be countered and we conceded that goal.

“In the penalty shootout everything was turned upside down with the fourth and sixth being missed. Penalties are a lottery‚ we cannot look at that. All of us are disappointed‚ we had the highest ambition in this competition.

“But in life it is very important that after you are hit hard and are frustrated, you stand up‚ and it’s about how you answer,” Sredojevic said.

“We will go back to the drawing board‚ focusing on the Champions League and the PSL,” he said.

Third-placed Downs are breathing down second-placed Pirates’ necks‚ just a point behind with three games in hand.

Pirates return to Champions League action, where they lead Group B with a draw and a win‚ against Esperance de Tunis at the Orlando Stadium on Saturday. –