Santos wary of Bucs backlash

2012-03-13 16:55
Duncan Crowie (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - Santos coach Duncan Crowie told his players not to be side-tracked by off-the-field incidents at Orlando Pirates when they face them in a Premier Soccer League (PSL) match at Athlone Stadium on Wednesday.

"I cannot be bothered (about Pirates). I'm not reading too much to that situation," Crowie said on Tuesday.

"All I can do is prepare my team properly and give the best preparation.

"But otherwise, I'm looking forward to the challenge against a good Pirates team."

Pirates suspended coach Julio Leal on Monday pending an investigation - a situation that may rock the league champions in their title defence.

The People's Team, on the other hand, need points to help them in their relegation battle and are in 14th place on the PSL table with 16 points after 18 matches.

However, Crowie felt that the recent developments may inspire Pirates and their interim coach Augusto Palacios.

"Look, their situation can work both ways," Crowie said.

"It is possible that it can bring out the best in their players who will be out trying to prove a point."

The Buccaneers are third on the log with 33 points, with a win ensuring them second spot.

Pirates will next face fellow title contenders, Kaizer Chiefs, in the highly-anticipated Soweto Derby clash at FNB Stadium on Saturday.

Also on Wednesday, Platinum Stars - another side with coaching problems - will meet Golden Arrows at Moruleng Stadium.

Stars suspended coach Owen da Gama on Friday for allegedly taking bribes from players for game time.

Assistant coach Allan Freese and head of development, Calvin Johnson, will take charge against Arrows.

Arrows are 12th on the PSL log with 17 points, with Stars just behind them with 16 points.

At Charles Mopeli Stadium in Phuthaditjhaba, seventh-placed Free State Stars host Moroka Swallows, who are sixth on the log.

Maritzburg United take on Bloemfontein Celtic at their second alternative venue for this season, the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth.

The matches between Kaizer Chiefs and Ajax Cape Town as well as the AmaZulu-Jomo Cosmos scheduled for Tuesday have been indefinitely postponed.

The matches have been moved because of the rescheduled Ajax and AmaZulu Nedbank Cup round of 32 game taking place on Tuesday.

The tie was abandoned on Sunday because of a waterlogged pitch.

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