Orlando Pirates rallied around goalkeeper Wayne Sandilands in the changeroom at the break after his blunder in their 1-1 Premiership draw against Highlands Park on Saturday‚ Bucs coach Milutin Sredojevic said.
Sandilands‚ receiving a back-pass from Gladwin Shitolo to his right foot, tried to pass out with his left‚ but the ball sneaked in under the keeper. It went down as a Shitolo own goal.
Justin Shonga equalised in the 61st‚ but the blunder was the last thing Sandilands needed while playing just his second league game since fumbling Sundowns’ Hlompho Kekana’s shot in November.
It also got the home crowd on Sandilands’s back.
"The first thing we did in the dressing room was we requested the team to stand behind Wayne Sandilands. The players stood firmly behind him‚ in order to protect him.
"It is not easy to come in this position‚ and I don’t wish it on my biggest enemy," Sredojevic said. It never came close to crossing his mind to take Sandilands off, he said.
"Before being a coach‚ I am a supporter‚ and I feel like a supporter. However‚ some of us as technical people need to be cool people‚ and we cannot react by emotions and whatever you see immediately you cut off."
Sredojevic is likely to give Sandlilands a chance in Bucs’ next game against Chippa United at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Wednesday.