Pirates may still sign up centre-back before window closes
Coach to assess backline performances before making up his mind
Orlando Pirates coach Milutin Sredojevic has not ruled out the club signing a centre-back before the close of the transfer window on August 31.
Sredojevic suggested Pirates will assess the backline performances in Bucs’ matches in August‚ including Wednesday's Premiership match against SuperSport United at Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit (kickoff 7.30pm)‚ before making decisions on signing any more defenders.
Pirates are likely to see their defence as an area they can tighten after finishing the past two seasons as runners-up to champions Mamelodi Sundowns in the Premier Soccer League (PSL).
The Buccaneers conceded 24 times last season.
It seems a lot for a side challenging for the title‚ but Sundowns actually let in the same number of goals‚ and scored four less than Pirates (40 to Bucs’ 44).
Pirates started the 2019-20 PSL season on a positive note with a forceful 3-1 win over Bloemfontein Celtic at Orlando Stadium.
But Celtic missed some clear chances and were able to open a rusty Pirates defence quite often.
Sredojevic said Bucs will monitor their defensive performances‚ and whether they can operate efficiently with what they have‚ before making any decisions on bringing in another central defender.
“Our defence starts from the top [strikers] because of the high press. Our defensive second line is our midfielders and the last line is the defensive line‚” the coach said.
Sredojevic hoped club management would respond to his reports and recruit new players if required.
Pirates made nine signings in the preseason‚ including two defenders‚ both left-backs — Bongani Sam from Bloemfontein Celtic and Tebogo Tlolane from Chippa United.
They did not sign a centre-back‚ even though they released Brazilian Ciao Marcelo to Casa Pia in Portugal and sold Zimbabwean Marshall Munetsi to Stade Reims in France’s Ligue 1.
SuperSport opened their PSL campaign with a 2-0 defeat against Sundowns.
Wednesday: Polokwane City v Bidvest Wits (Old Peter Mokaba Stadium‚ 7.30pm).
Chippa United v Mamelodi Sundowns (Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium‚ 7.30pm).
SuperSport United v Orlando Pirates (Mbombela Stadium‚ 7.30pm).