Pirates gear up for bloody Wits battle despite neutral ground
Coach Rhulani Mokwena says The Clever Boys have a strong defence and are well-coached
Facing Bidvest Wits at Moses Mabhida Stadium is no consolation for Orlando Pirates coach Rhulani Mokwena. He is worried The Clever Boys could pose a serious threat to his charges when the two Johannesburg sides meet in Durban on Saturday.
Wits were forced to move this game to the iconic 2010 World Cup stadium after the Premier Soccer League ruled that their tiny Milpark home venue was not safe and big enough to accommodate this game.
“Wits is another difficult one‚” Mokwena said. “They are very difficult and a well-coached team‚ and very experienced when it comes to winning.
“With a strong defence‚ you’re forced to work hard to be able to get through the Wits back line. Tyson [Thulani Hlatshwayo] is strong‚ he’s a Bafana international.
“And with [Thabang] Monare‚ they have quality in the midfield.
“And you’ve got to deal with wing play and sort out the two that go on the sides on the wide channel.
“We’ll see‚ we will analyse their last couple of games and check our [last] game [against Chippa] with the technical team.”
Speaking of his backroom staff‚ Mokwena praised the role they play‚ saying the club was stronger because it invested in them.
“We’ve got a very good technical team‚ kudos also to them [for the win against Chippa]. Kudos also to Fadlu [Davids] and all of them for the amount of work they put in‚” said Mokwena.
“We’ve got very good people in the medical and sports science department.
“These are people that are selfless and they contribute towards the success of the team. They are the unsung heroes and sometimes you’ve got to mention that.
“We appreciate the effort and we believe that holistically as a club‚ we’ve got a very good group‚ not just from a playing perspective but also from the backroom perspective‚ which is very good.”
Wits lost 1-0 to Eswatini’s Young Buffaloes at Mavuso Sports Centre in Manzini in the first round of the Caf Confederation Cup at the weekend.
The result was no surprise as the club’s management have made it clear that their focus was on helping Gavin Hunt’s team win the Premiership.