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Milutin Sredojevic pleased with Orlando Pirates' fringe players after Light Stars win

9:25 AM GMT 29/11/2018
Orlando Pirates Milutin Sredojevic, November 2018
The Buccaneers will carry a 5-1 aggregate lead into the second-leg clash which will be played in Seychelles next week

Orlando Pirates coach Milutin 'Micho' Sredojevic has explained why he made wholesale changes ahead of the team's clash with Seychelles side Light Stars.

The Soweto giants secured a 5-1 win over Stars in a Caf Champions League preliminary round first-leg encounter in Johannesburg on Wednesday.

Pirates went into the encounter having defeated their arch-rivals Kaizer Chiefs in the Telkom Knockout Cup semi-final encounter in Durban over the weekend.

“Except for (Marshall) Munetsi we changed the whole squad. Players that were emotionally empty after playing against Kaizer Chiefs in the semi-final of the Telkom Knockout [were rested]," Sredojevic told SuperSport TV.

Micho made nine changes to the team that faced Amakhosi, but they still recorded a commanding victory over the 2018 Seychelles League Cup winners. 

"This was an opportunity for them to get match fitness. They got mileage in the legs that will help the competitiveness of places in the team," he continued.

Goals from Thabo Qalinge, Augustine Mulenga, Mpho Makola, Justin Shonga and Linda Mntambo all scored for the Buccaneers on the night, while Stars netted through Mario Ravo. 

"So that later on possibly in the group stages when we need to play in two or three days we have players that at any given time is on the same level," he said.

The Serbian coach feels that his fringe players benefitted from the game ahead of their Premier Soccer League (PSL) match with Maritzburg United on Saturday. 

“Whatever that was wrong today is that the players had no match fitness and whatever that was right is good that they have benefited in [getting] game time," Sredojevic added. 

"We are looking forward to the Saturday game against Maritzburg United,” he concluded.

The Buccaneers will host the Team of Choice at Orlando Stadium.