Orlando Pirates’ 2-2 draw with Highlands Park this past weekend at Makhulong Stadium has resulted in head coach Micho Sredojevic saying he needs to focus on fixing their defensive errors ahead of the game with Chippa United at Orlando Stadium tonight.
The Buccaneers had to bounce back twice in the game as the Lions of the North took the lead through Sphiwe Mahlangu and Peter Shalulile, but a goal from Thembinkosi Lorch and a controversial Kudakwashe Mahachi strike saw Pirates earn a point.
It wasn’t a great start to the new year for Sredojevic and his charges as they now trail Absa Premiership leaders Bidvest Wits by five points after 16 games. But the Bucs coach says they will take the game against Highlands as a lesson and will be looking for an improved performance against the Chilli Boys.
“We tried our best, it was not meant to be, we shall pick up from here. In football, you either win or learn a lesson and we need to correct our mistakes defensively and not concede.
“We have to critically look at certain things defensively, but at the same moment we want to look towards the next match against Chippa United and we are looking for an improved performance.”
Having dropped two points, the Pirates mentor is not really worried about the gap between them and Wits in the race for the league title. However, he wants his charges to continue with the fighting spirit they showed against Owen da Gama’s side.
“We have 14 matches left to play. We played this match like it is a cup final and we shall play every match like this. The main lesson we learned today is to close the gates behind and be effective up-front, that is our target and we will take it one game at a time.”
Chippa will head into this tie having lost 1-0 at home to Bloemfontein Celtic last Friday. The struggling Eastern Cape outfit find themselves second from the bottom of the standings with just 12 points from 16 matches.
Joel Masutha’s side will be desperate to drag themselves away from the relegation zone but face an uphill task to take down Pirates, especially with Bucs determined to make amends for Saturday’s draw.