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Milutin Sredojevic looking to nurture Orlando Pirates striker Lyle Foster into a world class player

9:11 PM IST 26/01/18
Orlando Pirates striker Lyle Foster
The teenage striker underwent successful trials at French Ligue 1 giants AS Monaco late last year and the European side is reportedly keen to him

Orlando Pirates head coach Milutin 'Micho' Sredojevic says he wants to handle rough diamond teenage striker Lyle Foster with cotton wool.

The Serbian tactician, who has managed to stabilize the Bucs ship, stated that he is looking to bring the 17-year-old along “step by step” so he can realise his potential.

“Lyle had a honeymoon‚ remember when he came against Cape Town City and he assisted‚” Sredojevic said on Times Live.

Micho was referring to Foster setting up Thabo Qalinge’s winner in a 1-0 win for Pirates over Cape Town City in a PSL game at FNB Stadium last September.

The highly-rated striker has since netted his first competitive goal as Pirates held Polokwane City to a 1-1 draw in a league match at the Orlando Stadium last weekend. 

Pirates released Foster for national duty last month and he went on to inspire South Africa to the 2017 Cosafa Under-20 Championship title in Zambia.

“Then he had an injury. He went to France. Coming back‚ there were some doubts about him going to Cosafa or not. We are happy that we sent him to Cosafa. He served the nation in the best possible way there," he continued.

“On December 27‚ when we resumed training (from the Christmas break)‚ he came back working strongly. And his goal (against Polokwane) was not an accident. He was really working hard supported by elder players," Micho added.

“He has opened his account. And I do not look at where he is now. I look‚ together with my technical team‚ at where he can reach. And when you have a player and diamond of that magnitude then you are looking at how to put him step by step‚ slowly‚ so that he can reach the highest level of his potential," he continued.

“And he really has potential. And we believe that as time goes‚ with mileage in the legs‚ he will give us more and then be better‚ and reach where we want him to reach – the highest international level," he concluded.

Pirates, who are placed sixth on the league standings, will take on 16-placed Platinum Stars in a league game at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg on Saturday.