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COMMENT: Has Milutin Sredojevic done enough for Orlando Pirates thus far?

15:12 GMT 25/12/2018
Micho Sredojevic of Orlando Pirates August 2018
Micho's challenge now is whether he can ensure that Bucs take the extra step and secure silverware

Milutin 'Micho' Sredojevic knew exactly what he was getting himself into when he returned to Orlando Pirates 18 months ago.

The Soweto giants looked to the Serbian coach to revive the team's fortunes following a disastrous 2016/17 campaign which saw the team finish outside the PSL top eight for the first time.

The mandate was very clear - stabilize the Bucs ship and build a team which can challenge for trophies and win them thus bringing back the glory days to the Houghton-based side.

It was something that Micho had failed to achieve in his first stint with the Buccaneers between 2006 and 2007.

His biggest achievement was guiding the team to the 2006 Caf Champions League semi-finals where they narrowly lost to Tunisian giants CS Sfaxien, but it was not enough to save his job.

The well-travelled trainer returned to Bucs as an accomplished coach, who had won league titles in Uganda, Ethiopia and Sudan.

Before becoming the first coach to guide Uganda to the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals after 38 years in 2016 and he was nominated for the Caf Coach of the Year accolade in the same year.

The 49-year-old laid the foundation last season with Pirates going toe to toe with a formidable Mamelodi Sundowns side for the PSL title and ultimately, Bucs finished second.

This was the Buccaneers' highest finish in the league since 2012 and this proved that the team was in good hands under the guidance of Micho and his highly-rated assistant Rulani Mokwena.

Pirates came into the current campaign with high expectations with the team having qualified for the Caf Champions League for the first time since 2012.

The PSL Coach of the Month for January 2018 guided Pirates to this season's Telkom Knockout Cup final where they were unlucky to lose to Baroka FC in an enthralling final.

Sredojevic then ensured that the team finished the first round in a good position in the race for the PSL title - three points behind log leaders Bidvest Wits.

Before leading Bucs to the 2018/19 Caf Champions League group stage where they will compete with the best and biggest clubs in Africa.

There's no doubt that Micho is steering the four-time PSL champions in the right direction with Mokwena, who came to the club with a winning mentality having won major trophies with Sundowns.

The duo has built a formidable Bucs team which is edging closer to clinching the club's maiden major trophy since 2014 and promising signs are there.