Gorowa tried to protect Teko
Johannesburg - Mamelodi Sundowns caretaker coach Ian Gorowa has admitted he didn't start Teko Modise against his former club because he wanted to protect him.
Orlando Pirates' fans gave the 28-year-old Bafana Bafana midfielder a hostile reception when he came on as a second-half substitute for Surprise Moriri in Saturday's 2-1 victory for the Bucs.
Gorowa, who suffered his first defeat since taking over from Antonio Lopez Habas, revealed that he feared whether Modise would buckle under the pressure of facing his former team-mates inside a packed Orlando Stadium.
"I didn't know whether he was going to be strong enough to handle the fans booing him," he said.
"I had to protect him because he was playing against his former team, so I thought it was better for him to come on late and use him as an impact player."
The defeat leaves Sundowns six points behind Pirates and with the unenviable record of having won just one out of four against their three major title rivals. That is certainly a cause for concern for Gorowa, although he certainly hasn't given up hope of winning the club's first title since 2007.
"It's the worst result we could have expected," Gorowa said.
"I know we have lost to the other title contenders but it's very important to realise that there are 16 teams in this league and we still have to play Chiefs and Ajax at home. If we can be consistent and win the rest of our games then who knows what will happen in the end? Obviously you want to beat your fellow contenders so it's a concern but we're still not giving up."