Orlando Pirates were emotionally drained after Sredojevic resignation - Motale

Thabiso Monyane of Orlando Pirates, Peter Shalulile of Highlands Park - August 2019

Former Orlando Pirates skipper Edward Motale admits coach Milutin Sredojevic’s departure has hurt the club but has backed the Soweto giants to bounce back after suffering three losses in all competitions.

Following the Serbian’s resignation on Friday, Pirates went on to lose their MTN8 quarter-final clash against Highlands Park a day later and ‘Magents’ believes the Lions of the North capitalized on a demoralized camp.

On the other hand, the 1995 Caf Champions League winning captain stated the Lions of the North were good on counter-attacks, but his former team must focus on doing well in the Premier Soccer League (PSL).

“The coach’s resignation has hurt the team very much, there is no doubt about that. Look at the time between his departure and the next game,” Motale told Goal.

“It had a big impact, the players were emotionally drained even if their bodies were ready for the game. The supporters also felt the shock but it is part of football,” he reacted.

“Even if the players were counselled before the game, that cannot be dealt with overnight because some players need a week, month and so on. All they have to do is to regroup, soldier on but I think in the interim they must get a specialist to work on their confidence and deal with the coach’s departure," he added.

“You will realize that some players were very close to the coach and they even see a father in him. So, if they bring in a professional he will help to give the players the hope to face the future," he noted.

“Crying won’t help because Pirates is a big club and the players must bring the results, basically, life is going on. We wish them best of luck, I fully support them through thick and thin, they just have to acclimatize because they have to protect the badge after losing three matches in a row," responded Motale.

Speaking about the 1-0 defeat, the former Jomo Cosmos star believes it was a balanced match in Soweto.

“It was a balanced game and it’s only that we lost the game and conceded in the last stages of the match. It was all about desperate times for us to get a goal and Highlands caught us on the break,” he continued.

“I think the rush for a goal to avoid penalties allowed Highlands to get a chance and you could see our defenders were facing their goal,” he reacted.

“It was a typical game of Cup football and the boys have to fight to bounce and focus in the league – all is not lost,” added ‘Magents’.

Moreover, the 2018/19 PSL runners-up have the Caf Champions League, the PSL title and a number of domestic trophies to challenge for and the legend has called for bravery going forward.

“We have to focus on the league now, we cannot pre-empt what will happen in the future because the boys started very well at home,” he urged.

“We have hopes that they will bounce back and ensure they carry the team’s badge going forward. It’s still early and there’s a lot to fight for. They must be brave and soldier on as professionals,” he expressed.

“They cannot kill themselves because Cup games can go either way. We hoped they will go far in the top eight, but it’s an unfortunate situation - surely the coaches will focus on the defensive errors,” concluded the legend.