Orlando Pirates goalkeeper not the problem – Motale

Ntsikelelo Nyauza & Innocent Maela, Orlando Pirates, September 2019
Despite conceding four goals against the Students, the retired defender has backed the Buccaneers to do well as the season progresses

Following their 4-3 loss to Bidvest Wits on Saturday night, Orlando Pirates legend Edward Motale has urged the current Buccaneers' squad to solve their defensive errors.

The Ghost will be looking to bounce back and get their second Premier Soccer League (PSL) win under Mokwena’s guidance in their next match against Cape Town City and Motale has allayed fears that the goalkeeper Joris Delle is the weakest link.

“It was a good game to watch for the fans, the players and I am sure the players also enjoyed the game. It was a thriller but we need to solve our defence as quickly as possible,” Motale told Goal.

“We scored and conceded, I don’t know whether it’s lack of concentration of excitement because we could not celebrate our goals as Wits managed to cancel them quickly - I really struggle to find the right word to describe why we conceded the goals quickly.

“However, it was a great game for the supporters. I mean they have been calling for goals in our matches, they travel from Joburg to Durban and they need value for their money,” added the legend.

Speaking about the fact that Mokena's team has conceded five goals in two PSL matches but netted five in as many games, the 1995 African Champion has urged the young coach to channel his energies in fine-tuning the last four.

“I was happy about the game, the fighting spirit and I will say it again, the coach is good, the players are good and the mentality is there to fight for each other and win matches, but for us to be the PSL title contenders we need to solidify at the back,” continued ‘Magents’.

“If we can’t sort that then we don’t deserve to challenge for the league title. It’s like having a mansion with no security and everyone comes in as he pleases. Before focusing on attack, we need to be stable at the back and be safe.

"I think the coaches are doing well, the goals are there but there’s one tick that is missing for the boys and that is stability at the back.

 “Coach Rhulani should be worried about the defence because we had many chances even in the game against Highlands Park but we conceded and that was it,” said Motale.

With Delle seemingly claiming the number one shirt from Wayne Sandilands, the former skipper has protected the French-born goalkeeper, stating that the defence had to protect him against the Clever Boys at Moses Mabhida Stadium.

“I think the keeper is okay, I believe that before a team scores a goal there are bodies that are assigned to close that striker but when a striker finds a path to score, then we can’t blame the keeper,” he noted.

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“A number of shots were taken in front of the defence and I don’t know whether it was a question of not having a structure or not. The only concern was the set-piece but any keeper can concede from such situations. However, I think he should have organized his wall better.

“After conceding the free-kick early after kick-off, we saw the boys coming out to play and fight for the points. It was pleasing to see that they are hungry and dedicated to fight for each other.

“They were just unfortunate to lose that game but I am proud because they lost as fighters. Pirates need to look forward and challenge for the title, but they must work hard at the back,” he concluded.