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Orlando Pirates' Delle not to blame for defensive frailties - Sandilands

10:37 WAT 01/11/2019
Joris Delle of Orlando Pirates, September 2019
The 29-year-old is in his first season with the Sea Robbers but he has already had a fair share of criticism from the club's fans

Orlando Pirates goalkeeper Wayne Sandilands strongly believes Joris Delle will eventually come good after his forgettable start to life in the Premier Soccer League (PSL). 

The French shot-stopper conceded eight goals in the three games he played before being relegated to the bench by coach Rhulani Mokwena. 

However, Sandilands doesn't think his colleague is a bad goalkeeper, as a lot of fans have alluded.   

"I think Joris is a strong character. Obviously having played in Europe and growing up in that environment, there’s a certain level of mental strength that you need to have," Sandilands told reporters. 

"So, I think he’s fine. He’s got very good qualities. As a goalkeeper, he’s got an all-round game from the coaching he’s received and from the level he’s been playing at. I don’t think it should change anybody’s perception of him and I’m sure he’s looking forward to the next opportunity that he gets to play."

The veteran said Delle cannot be blamed for the goals Pirates conceded whenever he was in goal before Mokwena decided to drop him. 

"When you’re defending [poorly] or conceding goals as a team, it’s not only about the keeper or the defence - the coach alluded to the fact that our game model is that we defend as a collective," added Sandilands.

Sandilands noted how the entire team sat down and talked about their defensive frailties and came up with solutions on how to defend better going forward. 

Since Delle was relegated to the bench, Pirates conceded just once - against Stellenbosch FC in the league - in the last three games. 

"We’ve sat down as a group of players and we’ve discussed where our shortfalls are defensively as a collective, not as any individuals or departments but as a team," he continued.

"I think going forward, you can see maybe we are sort of defending a little bit more solidly and that’s just due to the whole collective effort of the team and everybody being on the same page."