Pirates appeal to their fans

TONIGHT could be a night of reckoning for Orlando Pirates, who welcome Gordon Igesund's Maritzburg United to Orlando Stadium.

TONIGHT could be a night of reckoning for Orlando Pirates, who welcome Gordon Igesund's Maritzburg United to Orlando Stadium.

After a slump that has borne just two points out of the 18 on offer, Pirates spokesperson Mickey Modisane says there have been calls of anger directed at coach Rudi Krol from the multitude of their frustrated supporters who are probably fearing disappointment and agony.

Having started the season in splendid form, and leading the Absa Premiership table, they have now slumped to fifth.

Pirates could redeem themselves against United tonight, but for them to do so, they need their supporters behind them, Modisane said yesterday.

"I appeal to the Ghost to allow the coach to concentrate on his job. It is really quite early to start pushing the panic button," Modisane said.

The Dutch coach has cited fatigue as affecting key players such as Lucas Thwala, Teko Modise and goalkeeper Moeneeb Josephs, and Modisane agreed with this. But other teams also have players in the national team and are not complaining.

To compound their woes, the hosts will miss Thembinkosi Fanteni and Benson Mhlongo though they welcomed the likes of Oupa Manyisa and Mduduzi Nyanda from the Cosafa Challenge. Lebohang Mothibantwa, Josephy Kamwendo and Andile Jali should also be viable options for Krol.

"The fact that the coach has acknowledged this suggests there will be changes to the starting 11. It is not up to us to dictate what he should do. We should stand by our players, we are only coming to the halfway mark and all is not lost," Modisane said.

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