Milutin Sredojevic bemoans Mamelodi Sundowns' defensive approach against Orlando Pirates

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Sredojevic gave a detailed assessment of The Buccaneers performance in their goalless stalemate with the Absa Premiership log leaders on Monday evening, and felt his side dominated against a more defensively set out Sundowns outfit.

The Serbian also rued the injury enforced substitution of goalkeeper Wayne Sandilands, which he explained denied him another attacking option to try and break through Downs’ “double full-backs”.

“The injury of Wayne denied us one more attacking option in a situation when the opponents played with double full-backs on the right and left,” said Micho.

“First, they started with [double] full-backs on the right – Thapelo Morena and Anele Ngcongca, and then they put [Lyle Lakay] on the opposite side to create a situation that was very hard for us to break through. Despite that, we were dominating, and the opponent looked at counter-attacks.

“Then Luvuyo Memela, who was outstanding, especially in the first half with a tactical master-class in that diamond shape behind Mulenga and Shonga – we lost him and put Mahachi and Gabuza as attacking options.

“We tried everything right up to the end of the match, and when it came to seven minutes [referee’s optional time] left to play, one would expect us to go like mad people in attack but that was the time when we needed to close because the result is like a fish.

“If we had risked too much, the opponent is very strong, practically playing without strikers, which is their style, and they were in a position to take us on the counter-attack.”

Nonetheless, Micho reserved praise for his side’s efforts in achieving one of their objectives, while adding that the performance sets them on the right track headed into this weekend’s visit to fellow title challengers Bidvest Wits.

“But I want to give credit to the players because we had achieved our first target, which was to keep a clean sheet against a very good team,” he added.

“We believe in other statistical aspects that we have dominated, but the missing factor was exactly that goal that would give us extra profit, but at least we gained mental profit of having outplayed our respected opponents and very well-coached team.

“And this will drive us to recover the team properly and look forward to preparing very well against Bidvest Wits and continue where we have stopped at 15h30 in Milpark [on Saturday].”