July 29, 2021

Uthongathi coach Dladla highlights his concern over Orlando Pirates clash

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Since the Nedbank Cup began under its current guise in 2008, the Sea Robbers have been to four finals and won it twice, in 2011 and 2014

Uthongathi head coach Simo Dladla has admitted that he has worries that the occasion of playing Soweto giants Orlando Pirates on Saturday may be going to the heads of some of his players.

Pirates host the KwaZulu-Natal First Division club in a Nedbank Cup last 32 encounter at Orlando Stadium on Saturday afternoon, 3 pm kickoff.

Although Bucs have blown hot and cold this season, they will be heavy favourites to advance to the next round.

Cup upsets though are not rare in South African football and Pirates have been on the end of one or two themselves, particularly when they lost to third-tier side Maluti FET College 4-1 in the 2013 Nedbank Cup.

Dladla’s concern, however, is that his players may be looking to promote themselves rather than play for the team, as they get a rare chance to shine in the limelight of a national television audience.

“I’m seeing different energies from players,” Dladla was quoted saying by the Citizen.

“They want to play, they are eager to play and they are starting to become individuals rather than team players. I’ve already seen this and I said we have to monitor these energies.”

For the experienced First Division coach, it’s a matter of ensuring his players’ energies are aimed in the right direction.

“This desire should not be for individual games,” Dladla said. “Yes, we like individual brilliance where individual players influence the result of the game, they win the game for the team. But we remain a team, it should be about teamwork.

“It’s something that we have to deal with now, we must control these energies. I see it in training and I hope by the time we play on Saturday we would have managed to have come up with something to control it.”

Pirates are looking for their second trophy of the season, having won the MTN8 in December.

Their last match was also against a team from KwaZulu-Natal – Bucs suffered a 2-0 league loss to Golden Arrows on Tuesday evening.