Orlando Pirates coach Milutin Sredojevic looks ahead to 'cup final' with Cape Town City

Wayne Arendse
Wayne Arendse

Orlando Pirates coach Milutin Sredojevic said it is important for his side to treat every match 'like a cup final' after their 1-0 win over Maritzburg United at Harry Gwala Stadium on Wednesday evening.

READ: Pirates edge valiant Maritzburg

With the positive result, Pirates go three points clear at the top of the Absa Premiership standings and 'Micho' admitted it was never an easy task playing Maritzburg at home, where they had previously been winless in their last four trips to Harry Gwala stadium.

"It's never easy to come to Maritzburg," the Serbian tactician told SuperSport TV.

"With the amount of internationals they have and players that are candidates for Bafana and being in 16th place, it was a mental game.

"It was important for our players to treat it like a cup final. It is always nice to come in this football atmosphere. It was a tough, competitive game where the game could go either way.

"The moment in the second half when we scored the goal, they started putting high balls in to our box. That required us to bring Ndengane on and play centrally so the full-backs could block the crosses.

"From such a situation, we created many more chances to kill the game which we missed, which made it very tense for us in the last moments of the game."

The Buccanneers boss first paid credit to his players and then turned his attention to the next game, which is a trip to face Cape Town City at Athlone Stadium and also likened that tie to a 'cup final'.

"I want to give credit to the players for all the hard work they have done," said the 49-year-old.

"We have sweat tears and blood throughout the season. We are looking for the second consecutive time to go in to the Champions League. We are looking towards the next game against Cape Town City.

"We are only taking it one game at a time. Next match is a cup final at Athlone Stadium in Cape Town."

Finally, Sredojevic paid tribute to the fans, who he said have been his side's 'number 12' this season.

"We shall give all the best in the next 180 minutes," said 'Micho'.

"Our power lies in our players' commitment, dedication and hard work. Our player number 12 is our supporters that have carried us.

"I want to give credit to the supporters for sticking with us through thick and thin. Without them we would not have been able to stretch ourselves to the limit and reach 53 points.

"We don't think about any other team. So many of our players want to be heroes of the supporters."