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Milutin Sredojevic: Orlando Pirates won't cry over congested fixture schedule

16:17 BST 23/09/2018
Rhulani Mokwena & Milutin Sredojevic, Orlando Pirates, May 2018
The former Al Hilal Omdurman and Young Africans coach insisted that he selects players on merit

Orlando Pirates head coach Milutin 'Micho' Sredojevic has said that his team are accustomed to the tight fixture schedule.

The Soweto giants' 2-1 win over Baroka FC at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on Saturday was their third Premier Soccer League (PSL) matches in the last eight days. 

Sredojevic feels that the schedule is preparing his side for the busy period of November and December 2018 when they will be playing in the 2018/19 Caf Champions League, PSL and possibly Telkom Knockout Cup which is expected to start later this year. 

"Well, when we start playing in the Caf Champions League we will be travelling a lot. It will be even worse. So, we are fully aware of this as Orlando Pirates because we are a big club," Sredojevic said. 

The 2018/19 Caf Champions League preliminary round games will be played between November and December 2018. 

"We know what comes with such tight fixture schedules. Therefore, we have looked at all possibilities. We have to keep our players mentally and physically fit when they are playing back to back matches," he continued. 

"We have to keep them fresh, so, that they can give their best for the club's badge and supporters. We have accepted this tight fixture schedule. We won't be crybabies and start complaining about it," the 49-year-old added. 

The Buccaneers boast one of the biggest squads in the PSL and Micho is spoiled for choice as he has quality players at his disposal.

The Serbian trainer, who is assisted by highly-rated local tactician Rulani Mokwena, explained how players are selected at the Soweto giants. 

"In our team everyone is equal and players are selected on merit. Players, who are not playing are pushing those, who are getting some game time," Micho indicated. 

"The season is very long and everyone will get a chance to play. We are not selecting players based on their names or what they have achieved in the past," he explained.

"We select players based on their current form," he concluded.

Pirates' next league game will be against Lamontville Golden Arrows at the Orlando Stadium in Johannesburg on October 3.