Letsoaka: Stars stuck in second gear

Nedbank Cup

Ea Lla Koto were humbled by their 4-1 defeat to Pirates, after beating the same team 3-2 at the same venue a week earlier.

Letsoaka expressed his displeasure at his side's poor showing and felt they played better with a man down after Makhehleni Makhaula was sent off for a second bookable offence.

"We lost a lot of possession, secondly our marking in the middle area was a little bit terrible, I thought we could have done better in terms of marking them in the midfield," Letsoaka told SuperSport TV.

"If you give a team like Pirates space to play, they will be able to play. I think we actually played better when we were 10 men on the field.

"We looked a bit better, we retained the ball a little better, but a shift of focus now as we look to the Absa Premiership – Baroka next week."

The former Bafana Bafana assistant coach felt his side were stuck in the "second gear" for most parts of the match and lacked penetration in advanced areas of the pitch.

"We had moments in the game where I thought we were picking up, we've been playing with the second gear, I thought we would go to the third and fourth but we could not move away from the second gear," he added.

"Maybe, like I said, in the second half when we were a man down I could see our boys could retain the ball better and they could pass to each other. We even made a transition to their final third, which was a plus for us."