Muhsin Ertugral says Orlando Pirates still coming together


The Buccaneers were beaten 2-0 by a much more invigorated Kaizer Chiefs outfit in the Carling Black Label Champion Cup pre-season clash at the FNB Stadium on Saturday.

Though they played well in patches, Ertugral explains that putting together a new team takes time but feels today’s defeat provided a good opportunity to pin-point mistakes that they need to rectify before their Absa Premiership opener against Golden Arrows on 24 August.

“For me, it’s always difficult when we lose a game, especially when losing a derby,” said Ertugral. “It’s a fantastic event to have this opportunity under pressure to see what’s happening [in our team].

“But we have just finished week three [of pre-season] and we are now in week four, and the boys still need to get used to us, the technical squad firstly.

“Secondly, maybe we could have this game a week before the season starts. That would be a fantastic opportunity, then everyone would be ready perhaps.

“You could see Chiefs, for the first minutes, had much more speed and were powerful and organised. I must say to Steve [Komphela], he’s done a great job to get his team like that. In one-on-ones and two-on-twos, you could see we were always second best in that situation.”

The Turkish tactician also explained that the 4-4-2 formation forced upon him by the players the fans voted into the squad made it difficult for his side to counter the three-man midfield Chiefs had set up with Willard Katsande, George Maluleka and Hendrik Ekstein.

“We knew how Chiefs were going to operate in the build-up process with Katsande, but the 4-4-2 situation was a bit of a challenge for us, as much as I sounded a bit positive about it before,” he added.

“But we could never close that gap between their three midfielders in their build-up play, so they always had a three-versus-two. Their right side was also a bit too fast for us so every time they sneaked into the channel.

“In the first half they weren’t too dangerous and were taking shots from far, and I think we wanted to wait for half-time. We said we have to be careful with clearing from our defensive lines into the middle because they had more players, and that’s exactly what happened.”

Ertugal also praised his second-half substitutions and felt they should have done better from their opportunities created in the later stages, before Lewis Macha sealed the win with a stoppage time headed goal.

“I think after the changes we looked pretty good – I liked what I saw from the guys who came in. We had two clear chances – two tap-ins – which we failed to convert, where Itu saved brilliantly the first and the second one should have been in the roof but the defender saved it [off the line].

“We came back, but obviously we needed to change with three at back, and we opened completely so they made use of the counter-attack to get the second goal. It’s not nice [to lose], but in the end there’s a lot to learn from.”