Palacios explains persistent line-up changes at Orlando Pirates

The beleaguered coach has come under increasing fire for the constant line-up changes at the Buccaneers in successive matches and Goal spoke to him

Orlando Pirates interim coach Augusto Palacios explains to Goal why there are changes to his starting eleven every time they take the field of play

“Let me explain to you, I make these changes because of the injuries. Look at the present moment, we have Brighton Mhlongo injured, Issa Sarr injured, (Edwin) Gyimah injured, (Thabo) Qalinge injured, Thabo Rakhale injured, Gift Motupa injured, he got injured in training on Sunday,” Palacios told Goal.

The Peruvian has spoken on the back of the 6-0 drubbing by Mamelodi Sundowns where many blamed the defeat on the numerous changes albeit debuts to the likes of Marc Van Heerden.

“We tried to put Matlaba on the right because he is not a left-footer. The club signed a natural left-footer (Marc Van Heerden) so there was nothing wrong to play him. Sundowns also played a new player from Algeria (Fares Hachi) against (Bloemfontein) Celtic,” Palacios said.

“The problem is people they observe the team when they have lost, but when we win they don’t. People say we make a lot of changes which is not true. (Abbubakar) Mobara finished the game against Platinum, Jackson (Mabokgwane) finished the game against Platinum and played against Sundowns," he stressed.

“The problem is people sometimes talk because they like to talk without realizing how many injuries we have in the team,” Palacios bemoaned.

He vows that he will never and has not played players out of position, reiterating that Matlaba is not a left-back as many are meant to believe.

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“I don’t know what people is talking about. Matlaba is a right-back naturally not a left-back and people don’t understand this. Now if Issa Sarr, Gyimah and Shitolo is injured, give me the name of the player who can play in midfield besides Mobara.

“So I do not play players out of position. I cannot do that. Mobara played in midfield against Wits in the MTN 8 so it’s nothing new to him,” Palacios said.

The Buccaneers are now in desperate need of an up-turn and they will seek it at the expense of an irrepressible Bidvest Wits who they host on Wednesday.