Cape Town - Interim coach Rulani Mokwena admits he was relieved to secure a 1-0 victory over Highlands Park in Tembisa on Tuesday evening.
The Soweto giants have endured a difficult start to the Absa Premiership
season and came into the Highlands clash having failed to win in their
previous three league games, but Tshegofatso Mabasa scored a late winner
to give Mokwena's men a narrow win.
Despite the win, Pirates are still some way off the pace down in
eighth position in the standings, but Mokwena's spirit has been lifted
by the positive result.
"We've played better but to be honest we don't care at this point in
time, we just take the three points," Mokwena told SuperSport TV.
"We take a win and we breathe a sigh of relief at this point in time and congratulate the players grinding it out today.
"We asked them to grind it out, keep a clean sheet and that's what
they did. Congratulations to the Orlando Pirates players, they deserve
the victory today.
"Sometimes it feels like we're in trouble but it's because the ball
are coming in, the crosses, long throws are coming in to the box, that's
the percentage football they play and we have to deal with it.
"Gallant performance from the players once again, a fight, very
worthy of the three points today. A lot more verticality, Highlands are
strong, very organised they do man-marking orientation all over the
pitch very well, they are a difficult side to beat, not a lot of teams
will come here and get three points, so we take it.
"It's also the first time we've beaten Highlands Park, we're humble,
we keep our feet on the ground and we move on to the next one.
"We didn't change much [in the second-half], just a bit of tactical
discipline, sometimes we had to alter the structure a little bit, we
don't normally play this way, we had to play a little different because
"Sometimes if you have far too much movement, then you block certain
areas of the pitch and that's what they want. We had to try to be smart a
little bit but today the most important thing was the result, we take
it and congratulate the players, well done and well deserved."
- TeamTalk Media