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Good to go in Guinea


Bucs have a plan to conquer Horoya and claim their place in the last eight

MAN WITH A PLAN: Milutin Sredojevic, coach of Orlando Pirates says that the Sea Robbers know what needs to be done to bump Horoya out of the number two spot on the Group B table of the CAF Champions League. Picture: Samuel Shivambu BackpagePix

ORLANDO Pirates coach Micho Sredojevic plans to use the Buccaneers’ weakness to get the better of Horoya in Guinea on Saturday for a place in the quarter-finals of the CAF Champions League.

The Sea Robbers breezed into Guinea yesterday knowing that nothing less than a win will take them to the last eight.

Pirates have to do something that not many have been able to do – beat Horoya in their own backyard. Yet Sredojevic’s men put themselves in this precarious position by not making the most of their home matches.

The key to the Champions League is winning your home games and then sneaking at least one away win. That’s enough to see you top the group with ease.

But Pirates have only won once at home, beating Horoya 3-0 to become the first SA side to beat the Guineans after Mamelodi Sundowns and SuperSport United failed.

Then again, starting slow is nothing new to Pirates. They tend to do this in most of their games, get a wake-up call when their opponents score, and then recover in ferocious fashion.

“There are several matches where we needed a warning and then come back,” Sredojevic said.

“Now we have learned to come back. We are looking for solutions that will see us have the same approach from the start to that we have in the second half. This is a process.

“I am confident we shall find a way; there are certain things that you can’t control. It’s much more mental than it is a technical problem.”

Horoya aren’t flashy but they are disciplined and they’re a tough nut to crack in Conakry so Pirates will have to be inventive in looking to bulldoze their way past them.

Fortunately for Pirates they have Thamsanqa Gabuza, who will be an asset in that approach with his tireless work rate and bulldozing abilities.

But should Pirates not advance to the knockout stage, they will look back to their two draws at home, against Esperance and FC Platinum as the moments that their dreams to conquer the continent were shattered.

Failure to get maximum points at home in the Champions League is criminal, especially when opponents are there for the taking, as was the case with the reigning champions and the Zimbabwean side.

“You remember against Esperance, we had a chance to win and we didn’t,” Sredojevic said.

“We had a tough match against Platinum, we had a chance to win and we didn’t. We look at ourselves critically, analyse the reasons and the cause of why didn’t we win.

“What gives us confidence is that in the league we have collected 22 points away That’s one source of confidence

“As an optimist, a person who believes, and a coach of this big club who respects the badge and millions of supporters, we have to be extremely confident and believe.

“We believe in the work we do with the players and that we have what it takes to give our best there and win.”