Durban - Roger de Sa defended his position as Orlando Pirates coach after their winless Absa Premiership run was extended to five matches following a 1-1 draw against AmaZulu in Durban on Wednesday.
The defending champions remained seven points behind log leaders Kaizer Chiefs, who were held to the same scoreline by Maritzburg United, and missed the chance to close the gap at the Moses Mabhida Stadium where they started the match with a bang, courtesy of Collins Mbesuma’s fourth minute opener.
Goodman Dlamini levelled the scores for Usuthu and the Buccaneers then failed to find a winner, much to the frustration of their fans, some of whom showed their displeasure after the final whistle by hurling plastic objects, vuvuzelas and other items towards De Sa.
“It takes a bit more than a vuvuzela to knock me down,” the Pirates boss, who was escorted from the pitch by extra security, said afterwards.
“Obviously you’re always going to get a couple of them that are angry, that’s the way it goes in football all over the world.
“Fans want to blame one person. We’re second on the log. When I arrived at this club they were 10th.
“It just comes down to some crazy handful of supporters. You got to listen to the people that know the game.”
The Soweto giants enjoyed large spells of possession through the game and were twice denied by Tapuwa Kapini in the closing stages when the AmaZulu goalkeeper saved efforts from Mbesuma and Lucky Lekgwathi.
“I think the players are doing the best they can,” De Sa added.
“You can’t fault them for not trying.”
The draw moved Pirates onto 44 log points compared to the 51 of Chiefs, although the former do have a game in hand.
And De Sa insisted they were not ready to throw in the towel in the race for the championship.
“Of course time is running out and with each and every game it becomes more difficult,” he added.
“There’s less games to be played and less points to play for, so every time we slip up like tonight, it creates a stronger position for Chiefs.
“But we’ve got to focus on our games and keep on going. If we start worrying and watching what’s going on elsewhere, we’re not going to play ourselves."
Opposite number Craig Rosslee was pleased with the fighting spirit showed by his team, despite the Durban club dropping down one place on the log to 13th.
“I was pretty happy with the fighting spirit we showed,” he said.
“Orlando Pirates came here to win and you could see that by the way they started, which was a concern for me.
“But we clawed ourselves back, showed good fighting spirit and character to come back and get the point against a really quality side.”