Orlando Pirates coach Milutin Sredojevic has said his team will need a lot of improvements in key areas from their 1-0 Telkom Knockout win against Chippa United for the coming Saturday’s Soweto derby against Kaizer Chiefs.
Sredojevic said the long Fifa international break going into the narrow Telkom last-16 win against Chippa at Orlando Stadium on Saturday night played a role in the Buccaneers’ nervy performance.
But Pirates’ coach also admitted that his team have key aspects to work on ahead of meeting Chiefs in the Absa Premiership at a packed FNB Stadium on Saturday in the first Soweto derby of the season‚ which was already sold out by Friday morning.
“Look‚ everyone knows what the derby means. And entering a week before the derby by keeping a clean sheet is good‚” Sredojevic said.
“But at the same time‚ we cannot be blind‚ and we saw what happened on the field.
“We believe that we walked a very tight rope [against Chippa]‚ and that at any moment it could have happened differently than it did in the end.
“But I want to give credit to our players that they worked very hard. They had limited time and space provided‚ were put under pressure by the opponents‚ pushing them in situations to not shoot and convert.
“It’s good that we kept a clean sheet. It’s good that when the match was balanced we succeeded to score that goal.
“Usually recently we have had situations where in the first half we were opening the opposition and scoring‚ and in the second half dropping down.
“And the most important aspect for us is that we have progressed in cup competition where everyone sees the chance‚ everything is so tight.
“And against a very well organised‚ good-playing team‚ Chippa United‚ we succeeded to pass through.
“But we need really to look critically at some things. Because if we do not‚ and we keep ourselves blinded and think that everything was perfect then we can hit the wall in front of 90,000-plus people next Saturday.
“So there are so many critical things to take care of. And we have one week.
“And there is not better injection of motivation than winning but still having things to look at‚ to work on‚ and this is what we are looking at.”
Pirates edged the first half without creating too many chances against Chippa.
They took the lead in a period in the second half where the two teams were matching each other chance for chance‚ through substitute Vincent Pule’s 60th-minute strike.
“We played against a very organised‚ competitive team. And in that regard I will just say we are happy that we won and progressed‚” Sredojevic said.
“But in the same moment there are so many things to be corrected.
“We don’t want to hide behind the fact that we have been in the Fifa break‚ or that half of our mind was focused on next Saturday’s game against Kaizer Chiefs.
“We want to critically look at what was right and wrong and to move forward into the week ahead of us.”