Pirates out to change fortunes

2014-04-29 12:23
Vladimir Vermezovic (Gallo)

Johannesburg - Vladimir Vermezovic admits Orlando Pirates will need to have a shift in mentality when they head to Bidvest Wits for a crucial Premiership clash in Johannesburg on Wednesday.

"It looks like our guys are afraid of mistakes and play without confidence," Vermezovic said of his outfit, who travel to Wits having claimed a 2-1 win over the Clever Boys in the reverse fixture earlier this season.

"When they play and score a goal their confidence is up, and they show they can play.

"I don’t know what is going on. Maybe they are waiting for the end of the season because it has been long for them."

It has been a disappointing season for Pirates, who struggled to balance a tough Caf Champions League assignment with their domestic commitments, while also getting to know their new coach, who joined the Buccaneers in February.

Vermezovic has had somewhat of an up-and-down start to his tenure, with the Sea Robbers managing just one win in their last five games, and Vermezovic just three wins after nine games in charge.

As the curtains close on another Premiership season, things are heating up at both the top and bottom of the table. However, it is the battle for the top four places that will be the most hotly contested.

Only four points separate Mpumalanga Black Aces in fourth and AmaZulu in ninth, with Pirates set to battle it out with Aces for the all-important fourth place, which hands an easier draw during the next campaign’s MTN8 competition.

Pirates have the chance to move back into fourth and have two games in hand over Aces, who lead Pirates by two points. A win would send them above Amazayoni, who are not in action this week and only have one game left to play this season.

"Mistakes happen in football as in life, and they make mistakes on the field, but they have to be free and enjoy the game - they are good players," Vermezovic said.

The Serbian coach will have to improve Pirates’ underwhelming form away from home, with just 16 points from their 12 fixtures outside of the Orlando Stadium, while Wits will look to extend a solid run of form, which has seen them unbeaten in their last seven league outings.

Wits coach Gavin Hunt, having already all but secured a third-place finish, has been a man on a mission with the club he joined at the beginning of the season, steering the Students to three wins in their last five games.

Despite the superb turnover of points, Hunt looks unlikely to catch second-placed Kaizer Chiefs, who lead Wits by four points and are almost out of reach as the season nears its conclusion.

Chiefs are also in action on Wednesday and travel to Bethlehem, where a tricky Free State Stars lie in wait.

Stuart Baxter’s men were held to an entertaining goalless draw with Wits in their last outing, dealing a final blow to their chances of defending their Premiership title, as log-leading Mamelodi Sundowns look to have wrapped up a comfortable run-in to the title.

Baxter’s men meet a determined Stars outfit, who are dead-set on retaining their Premiership status. However, Stars look likely to be dragged into a relegation battle and could be absent from the country’s top-tier next season.


EPL: Transfer watch

2014-07-29 00:00


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
  • SS3
    Fri, 01 Aug 2014 @04:00
  • SS4
    Fri, 01 Aug 2014 @05:00
  • SS5
    Fri, 01 Aug 2014 @05:59
  • SS7
    Fri, 01 Aug 2014 @06:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

08 August 2014
Mamelodi Sundowns v Maritzburg United, Loftus Stadium 20:00
09 August 2014
Free State Stars v Kaizer Chiefs, Charles Mopeli Stadium 15:00
University of Pretoria v Polokwane City, Tuks Stadium 15:00
Chippa United v Platinum Stars, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium 18:00
SuperSport United v Wits, Lucas Moripe Stadium 20:15
Orlando Pirates v Moroka Swallows, Orlando Stadium 20:15
10 August 2014
Bloemfontein Celtic v Black Aces, Free State Stadium 15:00
AmaZulu v Ajax Cape Town, Moses Mabhida Stadium 15:00
Team P W PTS

Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their Absa Premiership title in the 2014/15 season?

Featured Blog

Dave ask if you would like to meet your local sports heroes and stand the chance to win prizes to the value of over R40 000.

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

TV schedule Plan your couch time with our searchable sport TV guide

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.