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Orlando Pirates v Highlands Park

Orlando Pirates: Sredojevic's shoes too big for Mokwena and Davids to fill

10:00 SAST 2019/08/18
Orlando Pirates coaches, Milutin Sredojevic, Rulani Mokwena and Fadlu Davids, January 2019
Sredojevic has left a huge void in the Bucs technical team. Throwing Mokwena and Davids into the deep end may not be wise at this stage

Same old story, just a different day! This was the case as Orlando Pirates suffered a successive defeat at the hands of Highlands Park on Saturday night. 

The club's horrible start to the 2019/20 season continued as they bowed out of the MTN8; the trophy they won back-to-back between 2010 and 2011. 

It's unusual for Pirates to lose three matches on the trot, and this calls for serious introspection on the side of the players, the technical team and management. 

As things stand, the Sea Robbers don't have a head coach following Micho Sredojevic's resignation on Friday night. 

However, the club's problems are so big that not even Rulani Mokwena could come in and change things around overnight. 

A lot was said about Mokwena being the brains behind Mamelodi Sundowns' success and Pirates' turnaround of fortunes over the past two years. 

He was given the responsibility to lead the giants of South African football, but things still didn't improve against Highlands Park, and this further highlighted the need to find an experienced coach with fresh ideas to try and build on the foundation laid by Sredojevic. 

While it may be wise to allow Mokwena and Fadlu Davids to try and steer this ship in the right direction given their proximity to the players, it may take time for the two young coaches to get the best of the current squad. 

Take nothing away from Mokwena and Davids, the responsibility of coaching Pirates may overwhelm them and the supporters may quickly turn against them. 

The duo should be allowed to learn and grow at the club before being thrown into the deep end, more so because the supporters want trophies and they want them soon. 

Now with the MTN8, a thing of the past for the Sea Robbers, their focus will shift to the league, and the Caf Champions League - these two competitions need experience and some may agree that Mokwena and Davids aren't at that level as yet although others may argue differently. 

Sredojevic's presence was felt against Highlands Park - he is one coach who knew how to turn things around - perhaps with the help of his colleagues in Mokwena and Davids - but he was the head coach, and everyone looked to him when the team wasn't doing well. 

The void he left is just too big, and it will take someone with the pedigree for trophies, experience but most importantly, someone who understands the culture of the club and the strengths and weaknesses of the current squad.      

Davids was a striker during his playing days, but Pirates' failure to score in three successive matches raises eyebrows, especially with all the players that have been there over the past two seasons or so. 

Could this mean there are more underlying problems in the Bucs camp? 

The Pirates camp looks more divided than before - there is no cohesion and even when players are trying hard to get positive results, the body language is just not there. 

As the experts say, success is relative to one's ambition but as things stand, Pirates players just don't look ambitious, and this could hurt their chances of winning silverware this season - they concede goals cheaply and can't seem to know where the goalposts are, and this is a cause for concern.      

On a positive note, it may be a blessing in disguise that Pirates are going through this difficult period this early in the season so they can get their house in order before it's too late, but failure to do that may signal the beginning of a long season ahead.