Scoring problem in South Africa is psychological, says Orlando Pirates coach Sredojevic

The 48-year-old stated that he tried different formations, but Bucs could not beat Arrows goalkeeper Nkosingiphile Gumede on the night

Orlando Pirates head coach Milutin 'Micho' Sredojevic says the scoring problem in South Africa is psychological.

The Serbian tactician was speaking after Bucs' goalless stalemate with Lamontville Golden Arrows in a PSL match at the Orlando Stadium on Tuesday night.

“From what I can see‚ there is no problem with our football‚ but it’s a mental block to put that ball in the net‚" Sredojevic, who has coached in Uganda, Sudan and Rwanda among other countries, told the media.

Bucs trio Thabo Qalinge, Thabo Matlaba and Justice Chabalala missed glorious goalscoring opportunities on the night. 

““I have been in 138 countries in the world‚ and I have never seen this in my life. It was like tapping away at a rock. But I did see in the body language and the facial expressions of my players that they gave their best. They really wanted to win and we had the pressure‚ we tried and we created chances," he continued.

“I’ve told my players‚ ‘if you are not scoring from five (chances), you need to create 10. If you don’t create from 10‚ then you need to create 20 so that by the law of averages something will enter (the net).

“Instead of them worrying about the pressure of getting the result‚ I’ve really tried by all methods to get them to concentrate on practical matters and standards. I want them to have a habit of scoring‚ a culture of scoring and automation with scoring.

"Once‚ in this country‚ we get players to do things automatically when they are getting across‚ when they attack through the centre or when they are one-on-one with the goalkeeper‚ we will solve this nationwide problem of not scoring," he added.

“I belong to those who never-say-die‚ never give up. Why? Because I believe in the players we have‚ the work we are doing and I believe we will get to the point where scoring comes automatically.

Pirates, who are placed sixth on the PSL standings, will take on Bloemfontein Celtic in a league match at the Dr Molemela Stadium on Sunday.

“The problem here (in South Africa) is that when players miss one chance‚ they spend so much time worrying about having missed that it stops them from working on creating more," Micho explained.

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“I try and hammer‚ like putting a nail in the head‚ that if you think about what you have just missed‚ then you are going to miss more," he added.

"I say‚ ‘if you have missed one‚ pay us back by creating three more chances. One should go in’. This mental block is not only with us … the lacking of scoring is why our national team is not going to the World Cup.

"From what I’ve seen of what Bafana did to Senegal in Polokwane and Dakar in creating chances‚ Senegal could be a punching bag in Russia‚” he concluded.

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