Boo-boys irk Bucs coach
SENZO Meyiwa could keep his place in the Orlando Pirates starting line-up in the Soweto derby against Moroka Swallows next week.
This might have less to do with the goalkeeper's performance in the past two Absa Premiership matches for the defending champions than with coach Augusto Palacios's determination to hit back at some of the club's supporters.
Meyiwa, the "Buccaneers'' second-choice goalkeeper, got the nod ahead of Moeneeb Josephs on Monday night, but was targeted once again by the boo-boys when Pirates conceded a goal in their 2-1 win over Jomo Cosmos at Orlando Stadium.
The strike from Cosmos midfielder Siyabonga Nhlapho drew his side level in the first half, and after a few mistakes by Meyiwa, the Pirates fans wanted Josephs between the sticks.
The coach opted for Meyiwa despite Josephs having returned from his one-match suspension against AmaZulu last week, in which the former kept a clean sheet.
Palacios was fuming after the game and blasted the supporters' behaviour, saying he would not let any of them dictate who should take to the field when Pirates are in action.
Meyiwa is often the victim of the barrackers when No1 keeper Josephs is unavailable through injury, suspension or Bafana duty.
But former coaches Ruud Krol and Julio Leal had never spoken out regarding the fans' treatment of Meyiwa.
"I cannot tolerate this. I will never tolerate how the fans treated our goalkeeper Senzo," said Palacios, who was asked last week to coach Pirates until the end of the season following Leal's resignation.
"Our own supporters made noise about our goalkeeper conceding. It was a perfect goal and he made good saves throughout the match. The supporters cannot shout about who should stay or go out of the team."
The last time the Buccaneers faithful called the shots, striker Benni McCarthy was brought off the bench to score a late winner for Pirates in a 1-0 win over Maritzburg United. Leal was still in charge when that happened in February. But Palacios will have none of that while he remains the coach.
"It is their perception, but I will not tolerate this and I will stay like this," he said.
"I have been with Pirates for 17 years and even I never demanded changes when I was not the coach."