Past still haunts Orlando Pirates‚ says Sredojevic

Orlando Pirates are still haunted by their recent flops and it will take time before they show a more confident and expansive side to their playing style‚ predicts new coach Milutin Sredojevic.

“The ghost of the past is still present with us‚ it is chasing us still‚” Sredojevic said in a reference to a still obvious timidity in Pirates’ play in what is a hangover from their horror last season when they finished without any silverware again and missed out on a top eight place.

He continued: “But we want to chase away that ghost to be able to play a different way.

“However it is deep in the mind of the players and they are cautious when they have a lead‚ naturally retreating back to protect this small credit.”

Pirates took an early lead on Tuesday night in their latest Premier Soccer League encounter against Ajax Cape Town‚ won 1-0 by Bucs.

Although Pirates dominated most of the game at the Orlando Stadium‚ there were times when they seemed to sit back rather than look to add more to their goal tally.

“The ghost of the past comes from the fact that that this team has conceded so many goals in the last minutes of games‚” explained the coach.

The solution was‚ he added: “We have to work hard and make sure we have the game wrapped up long before the end.”

Sredojevic was careful not to criticise the work of any of his predecessors‚ especially the Swede Kjell Jonevret whose brief tenure earlier this year proved a major disappointment for Pirates.

“Pirates is no ordinary case‚” he said of the psyche of his players.

“It demands a neurosurgeon-like operation and we are trying from every angle possible.

“They are proud boys – they know what it means to wear the badge of this 80-year-old club and the dreams of millions of our supporters. Every day we work on the man-management aspect to put them in the right direction.

“They are determined‚ they want to turn the corner‚ they work very hard and they want to prove the point that they are not in Pirates by accident. I’m honoured‚ pleased and privileged to be their coach.”