Orlando Pirates should bring their A-game against 'physical' Highlands Park - Sredojevic

Milutin Sredojevic, Orlando Pirates, January 2019
The Serbian tactician is keen to mastermind a victory over the Lions of the North, after the Buccaneers having lost their last two matches

Orlando Pirates head coach Milutin 'Micho' Sredojevic says his charges should be ready for an unpredictable Highlands Park side on Saturday.

The two teams are set to clash in the 2019 MTN8 quarter-final match at the Orlando Stadium in Soweto.

Pirates are coming into this clash having lost 3-0 to SuperSport United in a Premier Soccer League (PSL) match, while Highlands Park were held to a 1-1 draw by Maritzburg United in their previous league game.

Speaking to the media on Thursday, Sredojevic disclosed some of his players are not at their “best operational level” yet, after the Soweto giants lost their last two games, against SuperSport and Zambia's Green Eagles in the Caf Champions League.

“In Saturday’s [cup] match, there is no correction – you are either through, or… I don’t even want to think about it," Sredojevic told the media at the MTN8 press conference.

“Highlands Park have the most specific physical approach in the PSL. We have played over 20 friendly matches over the last few years – they know us, and we know them.

“They are unpredictable, tricky, and it is a huge test of character and measurement of our values.I would like to say that we need to man-up, and use these 72 hours in an appropriate way," he added.

“Instead of licking the wounds of the last two matches, we have to focus on how to produce the performance and the result on Saturday.

“We need to out-work them football-wise. In terms of the wounds, we are healing with the match on Saturday. We owe ourselves, we owe our supporters – we need to return to the normal direction.

“Football is not the bush where you can hide. Everyone can see you, it’s very transparent. I do care about the jersey, the badge and the supporters. But we need to find an umbrella to help us pass this storm."

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Micho also feels his troops will have to be at their best to book a place in the semi-finals of the competition, as they look to return to winning ways against Highlands Park.

“We need to bring our A-game on Saturday, as this is the demand when you look at our opponents and supporters. We need to provide the approach of wounded lions – pride is at stake," he stressed.

“It is not pleasant to go through this. We need to wash the laundry inside, look at each other in the face, and answer not by talking – let the football talk on Saturday."