February 25, 2021

Orlando Pirates getting used to empty stadiums – Sandilands

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The Buccaneers gloveman was the hero of the afternoon as he inspired his side to end a six-match winless streak

Orlando Pirates goalkeeper Wayne Sandilands feels Saturday’s 2-1 Premier Soccer League (PSL) win over SuperSport United is what they needed to gain “confidence going forward” following a difficult run of form.

Pirates beat Matsatsantsa at Ellis Park Stadium to end a streak of two defeats and four draws which compromised their chances of ending the season in the top three.

It was a heroic afternoon for Sandilands who saved two penalties to keep the Soweto giants on track for maximum points.

Now as Pirates are left with facing Maritzburg United and Stellenbosch before they complete the season, Sandilands feels that they are still far from being at their best but the latest result was a morale booster going forward.

“Since we have been in the bubble it’s been a bit of a hard ground for us but I am just super happy that we can come away with three points. For us it’s good, the vibe going to the hotel will be a lot better than it has been,” Sandilands told SuperSport TV.

“Sometimes it goes your way on your day so I am grateful that I was able to help the team and it was our day today and we got the three valuable points that we needed. It’s a quick turnaround and we still have a lot of work to do in the upcoming week. That will give us a bit of confidence going forward.

“He kept me busy throughout the game, he is a quality player so yeah I am just grateful for the three points once again.”

Pirates and other widely-followed teams have had to adjust to playing behind closed doors since the resumption of the season, and Sandilands says they are now accustomed to it.

“It takes getting used to [playing inside empty stadiums] but I think obviously you have a task at hand that you have to set your mind to,” said Sandilands.

“You know in these games there is a lot riding on them everybody is fighting for points trying to finish as high on the table as you can so you get on with it. It is different it’s not easy but we get on with the job and take it one step at a time.”

Sandilands has 10 clean sheets from 25 league games this season with SuperSport goalkeeper Ronwen Williams being the only other PSL goalkeeper better than the Pirates shot-stopper with 13 clean sheets.