Orlando Pirates coach Milutin Sredojevic has scored his second season at the Soweto giants as a seven and a half out of 10.
Pirates fell two points short (57 to 59) of the top of the Premiership, finishing as runners-up for a second season in succession to Mamelodi Sundowns.
It came down to the final day‚ when Bucs beat Polokwane City 3-0 at Orlando Stadium on Saturday, but Downs saw off‚ and relegated‚ Free State Stars with a 1-0 win in Bethlehem.
Sredojevic conceded there is plenty of room for improvement for the Buccaneers‚ who also lost on penalties against Baroka FC in the Telkom Knockout‚ and reached the group stages of the Caf Champions League after a six-year absence from Africa’s premier continental club competition.
“We know what we have with this club, where there are millions of supporters expectant of trophies‚” Sredojevic said.
“We could not go into next season without the highest possible ambition. Because if you are talking about steady progress‚ then you need to be having steady progress properly.
“We were close last season‚ close this season‚ and next year we really need to be firmly [pushing for trophies].
“It will be very hard because many teams will fight for the league. It will be very hard in the MTN8.
“We have seen the transition in the Caf Champions League [from a southern to northern hemisphere calendar]. Next year it will be much more spaced out,” he said.
“And when you look at those things, plus the Telkom Knockout [and Nedbank Cup]‚ we shall still be in five competitions.
“But instead of looking forward‚ we need‚ in order to respect what we have done behind us‚ to go to the deepest possible critical analysis of every detail that happened this season,” said Sredojevic.
“To look at‚ and to put critically‚ what was wrong‚ and that needs to be drastically corrected. What was right needs to be kept up and also improved.
“We have had a wonderful season. However, it is not enough for the standard of Orlando Pirates.
“One thing is for sure — Orlando Pirates will be much‚ much better next season than they have been this.
“If‚ as I talk perfection where 10 out of 10 would not exist‚ I would go somewhere to look at this season as somewhere around seven and a half. I hope I am realistic in that.
“If we had gone further in the MTN8‚ if we had won the Telkom Knockout‚ if we had gone to the quarterfinals or beyond of the Champions League‚ it could reach nine or nine and a half.
“But like this‚ without anything to show‚ we are on seven and a half.”
Pirates ended five points (55 to 60) behind Sundowns last season.
Bucs lost on penalties against SuperSport United in the quarterfinal of the MTN8.
The shootout was the bane of Pirates’ domestic cup season‚ as they also bowed out on penalties to Black Leopards in the Nedbank Cup last-32.