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Veselin Jelusic claims Bloemfontein Celtic are still hurting from the Telkom Knockout final loss

Posted: 28 January 2018 Time: 12:00

Bloemfontein Celtic coach Veselin Jelusic admits the team's Telkom Knockout final heartache has had a knock-on effect on his men in the league. 

Celtic started the season promisingly, but have won twice from seven games since losing the TKO decider to Bidvest Wits at KwaMashu's Princess Magogo Stadium on December 2.

SuperSport United mentor Eric Tinkler also recently pointed out his side's struggles were to be expected after their CAF Confederation Cup final defeat, having won once in 10 matches heading into their weekend clash with Wits.

"Obviously we had some hope that we were going to win but we didn't achieve that. It took us long to play in the cup games and unfortunately we didn't win the final," said Jelusic, whose side held AmaZulu to a goalless draw at King Zwelithini Stadium in midweek.

"Of course it is very natural after that you'll have some shortcomings, disappointments. But you must know it's not easy to maintain the same level of motivation for the players in future games you play.

"But this is part of our profession, part of football. With that said, I believe in the middle of February we'll be back in better shape and we will once again achieve the results.

"You could see our approach in this game and the one against Wits, even with one player less we tried to score. We created chances but we don't convert our chances to goals.

"But of course we hope that it'll improve against City this coming weekend," concluded the Serbian.

Phunya Sele Sele next host high-flying Cape Town City at Dr Molemela Stadium on Sunday (15h30).

Jelusic has concerns in central defence, as Alfred Ndengane injured his ankle against Usuthu, while Wandisile Letlabika may not play again this season as he faces surgery for a knee injury sustained in the TKO final. The duo formed a solid partnership in the first half of the season.

In other team news, Lantshene Phalane, who missed the trip to Durban, will have a late fitness test, and Mpho Maruping will serve the second instalment of a two-game ban following his dismissal against Wits.

Article by: Robin-Duke Madlala
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