Orlando Pirates coach Micho Sredojevic has admitted that it will be very tough for his side when they take on Esperance in Tunis today in their return Caf Champions League Group B fixture, just three days after their gruelling Soweto derby against Kaizer Chiefs.
The Bucs coach says their 1-1 draw with Amakhosi took a lot out of his players, but he will make sure they do their utmost to get the best possible result when they take on the Tunisian giants at the Stade el Menzah this afternoon.
The game will be played behind closed doors, with Esperance still serving a two-match ban for crowd trouble last season.
If you throw in the travel time to get to Tunis, the fixture schedule does look very tough.
“Without making excuses, it takes so many emotions and when you give everything in one match it makes it difficult going into the next one. But we believe in what we are doing and in our players,” said Sredojevic.
“I can assure you we will squeeze the last drop out of them so that they can represent the country in the best possible way and get the best performance that will hopefully get us the result that will keep us in contention for the quarterfinals of the Champions League.”
Initially, Pirates had planned for a late kick-off so that they could recover from the Chiefs game, but Esperance changed the time. The Bucs coach said they accepted the situation.
“It is unfortunate that we planned on playing in the evening, but they changed the time after they saw we were playing Chiefs, but we accepted that we are travelling and looking to recover and have one last last training session there.”
The two teams played to a goalless draw in the first leg at Orlando Stadium. Both clubs head into this game tied on five points after three games, but Bucs top the group due to a better goal difference.
Should the sides draw again, Guinea’s Horoya FC, who are third with four points, will have the chance to top the group should they beat Zimbabwe’s FC Platinum, who have only registered one point from the same number of games.