Cape Town - Midfielder Issa Sarr says it's important as an Orlando Pirates player to know how to deal with expectation and pressure.
The Buccaneers' 3-1 victory over EC Bees in the Nedbank Cup last weekend ended a run of 12 matches without a win, which has provided a much needed morale booster, says Sarr.
"The win against EC Bees - this was more about the players' self-confidence than the opposition. The win has lifted my spirits and I know the whole team has benefited a lot from this result as well," the Senegal-born Sarr told the Pirates website.
"Obviously, we know that we still have a lot of work to do. The team needs to start registering some consistent performances and move up the log table. The supporters deserve it… they have been loyal and supportive at all times therefore we need to repay them for that," he added.
The former Chippa United and Platinum Stars anchorman explained how it is important to remain calm and not to let emotions boil over when results do not go according to plan.
"When things are not working, it's easy to press the panic buttons and change everything. This usually leads to a situation whereby you go from one problem to another. What is important during this time, is to stay focused and committed to the cause.
"There is no point in blaming each other or pointing fingers because this won't fix the problem. We have taken this approach as players and have continued to work together to overcome the slump. We are a team after all, and we win and lose as a team.
"This is Pirates, and there is history and heritage behind this club so its natural that when we stop winning the pressure mounts and if you don’t know how to handle the pressure it will just drive you further down," he added.
On a personal note, Sarr was relieved to be back in action last weekend after recovering from injury and was pleased overall with his performance.
"I think the fortunate thing is that I pride myself on my fitness so that wasn't really a problem but match fitness was an issue because it affects your decision making and general football intelligence.
"So yes, I was concerned over that after having being away from the action and that obviously affected my confidence which was lower than usual. I think my performance levels were between 80 - 90 percent and now I just have to work towards reaching 100% again."
The Sea Robbers are now set to play Free State Stars twice, in the league and in the Nedbank Cup last 16.