Pirates’ ‘black panthers’ unfazed by flu outbreak

“Regarding the medical situation, I don’t how it is on other teams, but we had an outbreak of flu that put some players out,” Micho revealed after a training session on Monday. (Gallo)

“Regarding the medical situation, I don’t how it is on other teams, but we had an outbreak of flu that put some players out,” Micho revealed after a training session on Monday. (Gallo)

After Richards Bay and Royal Eagles had their dreams respectively crushed by PSL hard hitters yesterday, the Nedbank Cup quarter-finals have almost taken complete shape.

All that remains is for Sundowns to continue their balancing act across the tightrope of fixture congestion – this time against amateur club EC Bees – and an Orlando Pirates’ visit to Cape Town FC.

Of course, the Buccaneers are likely having their own conversation on how to keep juggled balls up in the air. A superb 3-1 victory in the Soweto Derby scored them the belt of the undisputed No 1 contender to would-be champions Masandawana. It’s a challenge they’ll begin in earnest on Saturday when they take on Golden Arrows away on Saturday.

Not only must the team travel twice in four days but coach Milutin Sredojević has now revealed that Pirates were recently subjected to a flu outbreak – one that could force some rotation. Fortunately for him, he says, his players have the physical form of a large predatory cat.

“Regarding the medical situation, I don’t how it is on other teams, but we had an outbreak of flu that put some players out,” Micho revealed after a training session on Monday. “But we are happy and proud to be working with players in the shape of black panthers. I believe that we will manage in that regard.

“This outbreak of flu has put us in a position were want to talk about juggling – we shall be forced. It is a decision that will be made in coordination with the medical state of our players. We expect that we will do certain changes. How many of them? We shall see.”

“We are looking to show what depth in the squad we have. We’re happy that for every position, at least two to three players are fighting and whoever plays, we believe that he is ready – mentally, physically, technically and tactically.”

Captain Happy Jele echoed the sentiment that preparation is well on track to have a go in the Nedbank Cup

“We’ve been doing our homework, looking at mistakes that we did against Kaizer Chiefs. We did our homework on Cape Town City – how to penetrate them,” he said. “What are the good things that they do on the field, the bad things that they do on the field. I think the preparation has been going well.”

Luke Feltham

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