Orlando Pirates coach Milutin “Micho” Sredojević believes the club’s new signings could help spur them over the Premier Soccer League’s winner’s line this term. Bucs fell just short last year, finishing a mere two points behind champions Sundowns.
Nine players have since been signed, while some of the dead weight has been sent out the other end of the ever revolving door. Speaking from the team’s Rand Stadium training ground late Thursday morning, Micho said these are only the latest steps in the Soweto giants’ long term plan.
“The club has a vision, a strategy and does everything with planning, deep analysis – analyzing where we are our shortcomings and what we have done well so we can keep it up. After two competitive seasons we have done the deep analysis and have recognised in the mosaic we have provided over the last two years, there are some missing puzzle [pieces].”
The Serbian seemingly will not be strapped for choice when the league kicks off next weekend. The signings include exciting Maritzburg United midfield duo Fortune Makaringe and Siphesihle Ndlovu, defender Bongani Sam and French goalkeeper Joris Delle. Shirt chucker Thamsanqa Gabuza, Thabo Matlaba, Thabo Qalinge and Jackson Mabokgwane have all gone the other way.
“We believe that those nine players are exactly puzzles that will help us to turn our mosaic into the best football picture that our supporters are dreaming about,” Micho continued. “That puzzle is bringing exactly players from position that not necessarily just walk in the team, but increase the competition.
“The strongest feeling is for the coach that on every position we have two to three players of coverage and at any given time, you could use them having in mind that matches are coming. We are expecting to have seven to eight matches, depending on the outcomes, in the month of August. And when you have that in mind, it is unfair to put a load on the shoulders of just some players.”
Micho, of course, has the small matter of a Soweto Derby in the Carling Black Label Cup this weekend before he can test out his new designs.