Mpho Makola notes Orlando Pirates change-room difference
Posted: 24 November 2016 Time: 16:37
Orlando Pirates midfielder Mpho Makola has revealed a change of vibe in the team dressing room since Augusto Palacios took over from Muhsin Ertugral earlier this month.
Since Palacios took over the head coaching duties – albeit on a caretaker basis – Pirates have won all of their three games they have played under the Peruvian.
Three wins is, ironically, the same number of games Ertugral won during his nine-match tenure, before spectacularly announcing his resignation on live television after a 6-1 drubbing by SuperSport United.
The Bucs now face a test against the very same team at the same venue where they were disgraced over three weeks ago – Nelspruit's Mbombela Stadium.
This time it is a Telkom Knockout semifinal clash, which is scheduled to kick-off at 18h00 on Saturday evening.
“I think the change-room has changed. Everybody seems to be happy, everybody seems to be ready to play at any given time," noted Makola.
"Just like the coach said he brought something, which is a family oriented [vibe], into the team and I think that has been working for us so far.”
Makola says the players have welcomed Palacios like a breath of fresh air, but cannot pin-point the exact difference he brings to former coach Ertugral.
“We had a different coach and coaches are different and they do things differently," he added.
"Augusto does things differently to what Muhsin used to do, so obviously the other guys right now are all smiles in the change-room.
"Not to say that it wasn’t all smiles back then, [but] the mood is different suddenly.
"I don’t know how, maybe it is because of the new coach. It has been working for us so we just have to keep on doing things the way we have been doing."
In terms of their general play on the pitch, 'Bibo' is satisfied with the team's chance creation but feels all that needs work now is their finishing.
“As a team we have been playing very well and creating chances that we have not been capitalising on.
"So like you are saying, do you think we will see more goals in the games to come? I think surely we will see that, and we are just working on finishing the chances that we create as a team,” he added.
In terms of their confidence, the 30-year-old Bafana Bafana attacker says their current run of three wins in a row have given them the belief that they can go all the way to lift the league cup.
“Obviously, it is a huge confidence booster [to win three in a row] because we needed these victories for us to get back to our feet.
"What happened against SuperSport happened, and it is part of the game. It could have happened to anyone and our focus right now is on Saturday’s game and us reaching the final of the Telkom, and eventually winning it," concluded Makola.