Johannesburg - Following his side’s narrow 1-0 defeat to Soweto neighbours Kaizer Chiefs on Saturday, Orlando Pirates boss Vladimir Vermezovic said a lack of time with his new team meant the Buccaneers were always going to struggle.
Vermezovic took charge of only his second game as Pirates coach, after he made a return to South Africa after almost two years away.
“I’ve been here for two weeks, I’ve only had two training sessions with the team,” Vermezovic said after the game at the FNB Stadium.
A man-of-the-match display from Chiefs’ Willard Katsande put the Glamour Boys ahead shortly after the hour mark to record his first ever goal for Chiefs, ending a 67-game wait for the goal which proved the difference in front of a sold-out Soccer City.
“Before the game, in analysis, we knew that they were very dangerous from set-pieces and in the end we made a mistake,” Vermezovic said of the goal, scored from a corner.
“They (Chiefs) are dominant in aerial balls… that’s a fact.”
The Serbian called for patience as he got to know his Buccaneers outfit.
“We will keep going, we’ll get there for sure. Slowly, with more trainings and with more tactical sessions,” Vermezovic said.
“Our main goal by the end of the season is to win as many games as possible and to prepare ourselves for the next season.”
Despite the lack of preparations, Vermezovic does not see the Sea Robbers’ hectic schedule let up as the Premiership edges closer to its conclusion.
Pirates take on Mpumalanga Black Aces in a league clash on Tuesday, before traveling to Cape Town, where they meet Santos in the Nedbank Cup.
“We will travel to Nelspruit and after that, on Wednesday, we come back. On Thursday again, we travel to Cape Town, where we have a Cup game on Friday,” he said.
“On Saturday, we travel back. There is not a lot of time for training and I have to accept that.”
Katsande's goal proved a mountain to high as Chiefs held on for a memorable win which puts further distance between the two Soweto giants, as Pirates dropped 13 points behind the table-toppers, but remain fourth overall.