Orlando Pirates' slow start to matches irks Micho Sredojevic

Justin Shonga of Orlando Pirates is challenged by Mzwanele Mahashe and Tshepo Rikhotso of Bloem Celtic during their Absa Premiership match on Tuesday. /BackpagePix / Samuel Shivambu
Justin Shonga of Orlando Pirates is challenged by Mzwanele Mahashe and Tshepo Rikhotso of Bloem Celtic during their Absa Premiership match on Tuesday. /BackpagePix / Samuel Shivambu

Orlando Pirates coach Milutin "Micho" Sredojevic has explained their recent slow start to games that has seen Bucs concede first.

Apart from their 1-0 win over Golden Arrows last week, Pirates have had to chase the scoreline in their last six league outings.

On Tuesday, Bucs came from a goal down to play out a 1-1 draw against Celtic at Orlando Stadium.

The same happened in their 4-1 home thumping of AmaZulu two weeks ago.

Before their come-from-behind win against Usuthu, they had lost 1-0 to SuperSport (the only time they failed to respond after conceding first in the past six outings).

In January, Pirates fought back to draw 1-1 against Baroka, the same way they did against Kaizer Chiefs (1-1) in the Soweto Derby last month.

Sredojevic tried to shed the light on why the Sea Robbers have been forced to chase the game of late.

"It looks like something has to provoke us before we react. It's not an intention. Believe me, this is not PlayStation. You cannot in a way plan your first half and that you reserve your energy for second half.

"As a team that has an approach of bringing line high. counter-attacks are likely to hit us.

"We are having players that are ready to challenge that problem [of conceding first]. We shall look at the matches ahead of us. We want to start every game as if we've already conceded."

Bucs are top of the table on 40 points, level with Mamelodi Sundowns, who still have a game in hand. However, Micho remains reluctant to speak about title chances.

"When you are at Pirates, you always have ambitions, however, instead of talking about what you are going to do, you would rather focus [on] the hard work."

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