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Orlando Pirates coach Muhsin Ertugral: International players were tired against Polokwane City

Posted: 17 October 2016 Time: 11:07

Orlando Pirates coach Muhsin Ertugral believes some of his international players were battling with fatigue in the 1-1 draw at Polokwane City on Sunday.

Bucs were second best for much of the league game, but sniped a point via Tendai Ndoro's last-gasp equaliser at the New Peter Mokaba Stadium.

READ: Ndoro - Pirates are lucky

Ertugral pointed out that Pirates' Brighton Mhlongo, Jackson Mabokgwane, Thabo Matlaba, Abbubaker Mobara, Mpho Makola, Oupa Manyisa and Thamsanqa Gabuza recently honoured Bafana Bafana call-ups, while Edwin Gyimah and Felipe Ovono did duty for Ghana and Equatorial Guinea respectively.

"We had nine players off in the international week and Edwin came back injured from Ghana in the game against Bafana Bafana in Durban (last week Tuesday)," said Ertugral.

"Players are very tired. You could see Mpho Makola, he played two games in the national team and Thabo Matlaba. Beside that he did everything today. But they were tired from Bafana Bafana. I had nine players on the international teams which is a heavy margin."

The Sea Robbers have slipped four points behind joint-league leaders Kaizer Chiefs and Golden Arrows after drawing three in a row.

Ertugral, however, is not overly concerned given they are still undefeated in five games, and have a match in hand on the pace-setting duo.

"Actually I’m not concerned, the concern comes when you lose games," he added.

"The patterns for us are important; what we want to achieve and what is that tactical pattern of what we are playing. We are lopsided in the game in the first half and we didn’t throw much punches. We got in a very unlucky situation by conceding a goal and it changed the game's form.

"Now we were on the back foot, now you need to open up at the back. In the first half we didn’t give anything way and in the second half maybe because you need to understand the game and the dynamism of the game is different. So we needed to open up and obviously the situation of scoring was then coming." 

The Soweto giants next host Arrows in the Telkom Knockout last-16 this weekend at Orlando Stadium. 

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Article by: Robin-Duke Madlala
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