As Orlando Pirates get their Caf African Champions League campaign underway with a trip away to Zambia this weekend, former skipper Edward Motale has urged the Buccaneers to possess a strong mentality.
‘Magents’ stated coach Milutin Sredojevic and his technical team must not only rely on tactical planning, adding that an early goal will put the Soweto giants at an advantage against Green Eagles.
“Yes they have the Champions League this weekend against a team that is a closed book, if they can get a draw more especially with goals, they can be able to reach the next stage,” Motale told Goal.
Although the Eagles are not as famous as Zesco United or Zanaco FC, the club is mentored by Chipolopolo caretaker coach Aggrey Chiyangi who recently lifted the 2019 Cosafa Cup in Durban.
Chiyangi led his troops to the top of the two-stream league in 2019 where they lost on penalties to eventual winners, Zesco United, but the Mamelodi-born legend has warned that playing away from home is not easy.
“That’s why I always preach about mental strength. We all know that in Africa, skill or tactical planning is not really necessary especially playing away from home,” he added.
With the 1995 African champions having opened their 2019/20 Premier Soccer League (PSL) account with a 3-1 win over Bloemfontein Celtic last weekend, the retired defender backs the current squad to find the back of the net.
Pirates jetted out of the country on Thursday ahead of the preliminary stage first leg match scheduled to get underway at Nkoloma Stadium in Lusaka at 15:00 on Saturday afternoon.
“They need to score and when they come back home it works to their advantage. An early goal will help them to come back and kill off the game,” added the legend.
“In my opinion, the earlier you score the better because situations might change as the game progresses, we know the referees and the atmosphere will be different in this competition especially away from home,” urged the former Bafana Bafana defender.
“If you score early, you have a chance to settle down with no rush, you easily gain the momentum and you can chase for another goal,” he noted.
Motale remains the only skipper that lifted the coveted African Champions League trophy at Pirates and has stressed the importance of a strong mental approach as he reflected on their journey to glory 24 years ago.
“That’s why I always preach about mental strength. We all know that in Africa, skill or tactical planning is not really necessary especially when playing away from home,” he continued.
“The pitch might be bad and your tactical plan will have to change, you will need to adjust to the situation and that’s what helped us in 1995 - we were very strong mentally,” concluded the 53-year-old.
Meanwhile, the 2018/19 PSL runners-up managed to reach the group stages of the continental tournament last season and will target a spot in the knockout stages this year.