Clinton Larsen looking for an early goal against unpredictable Pirates

Clinton Larsen and Mandla Ncikazi during the Absa Premiership match between Highlands Park and Golden Arrows at Makhulong Stadium on September 16, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Clinton Larsen and Mandla Ncikazi during the Absa Premiership match between Highlands Park and Golden Arrows at Makhulong Stadium on September 16, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images

Clinton Larsen wants Lamontville Golden Arrows to upset the form book and score early against a schizophrenic but on-form Orlando Pirates in the teams’ Absa Premiership clash at Orlando Stadium on Wednesday night.

Arrows coach Larsen said Arrows would have to focus for 90 minutes‚ and importantly avoid allowing Bucs to get on top early.

Pirates might be top of the PSL‚ but the scary part about the Buccaneers is that they are also clearly still a work in progress‚ as evidenced by their last two games.

Bucs had 2-0 leads by the break against Cape Town City at home and Baroka away‚ and endured nervous second halves against both.

Pirates allowed City to come back for a 2-2 draw and held on for a 2-1 win against Bakgaga.

“Ja‚ no‚ I think we’ve got to just focus for 90 minutes against a team like that‚” Larsen said on Tuesday.

“A very dangerous team‚ I think with some in-form players if you look at the likes of Xola Mlambo‚ Vincent Pule‚ Thembinkosi Lorch and Augustine Mulenga‚ to name a few.

“And yeah‚ they start the game very brightly‚ they try to get an early goal. And that’s something we’ve got to be wary of.

“But at the same time‚ sometimes the pushing forward like that with numbers can leave them exposed. And it’s in those moments that we need to capitalise.

“Pirates haven’t peaked. I think all the teams in the league haven’t peaked.

"You look at Wits‚ for me on paper a team that’s going to go and challenge all the way.

“Sundowns haven’t peaked. And then you can speak about all the smaller clubs as well.

“But I think in terms of consistency and a team playing a very attacking brand of football Pirates are right up there with the best.”

Arrows have had a tough start to 2018-19.

They won their first game 2-0 against Maritzburg United away‚ and have not had a victory since in eight league and cup fixtures.

Larsen has been frustrated that 11th-placed Arrows could not convert three draws from their seven PSL games into wins.

“That’s been our most frustrating part of the season. Games where we’ve really created bucket-loads of chances going to Chippa‚ Polokwane‚ Highlands Park‚” the coach said.

“That’s been our Achilles heel – not killing off games when we’ve had the chances to do so.

“We’ve really got to start on the front foot against Pirates‚ get an early goal. I think that’s important against a team like Pirates – get a goal and frustrate them.

“Because once they get a goal they become a difficult proposition.”

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