No official explanation was offered for Krol’s absence and Pirates technical staff member William Opara took his place instead.
Chiefs’ coach Muhsin Ertugral was quick to strike a blow for Amakhosi when he indirectly accused Krol of disrespecting the media by not being at present at the EPRU Stadium.
_quote “Here at Chiefs we respect the media and the sponsors, I’m not sure why the Pirates coach is not here today, but at Chiefs we are about respect and maybe that is something that the new coach will have to learn in this country,” Erturgral said, with a grin on his face.
Opara told KickOff.com that Krol had asked to be excused to prepare the team for tomorrow’s encounter.
“The coach respects the media and the sponsors, but he was just busy at the hotel,” Opara said.
Ertugral offered a friendly reminder to Pirates that although the Bucs are still bruised following their sluggish performance against Manchester United in Durban, they will meet a Chiefs side that will not be in a charitable mood.
“Derbies are derbies and we don’t do favours there, for 90 minutes we are not friends and that is the way the business is conducted. After the match, we can be friends again,” he said.
Erturgral added, however, that it would be foolish to dismiss Pirates’ chances at EPRU Stadium.
The Amakhosi coach was quick to point out that the European Champions had triumphed against an under-strength Pirates team that had opted to keep most of its trusted lieutenants on the fringes.
“I think I would be kidding myself if I say the match against Pirates will be an easy one based on what happened in their match against Manchester. Yes, they didn’t play well, but to be frank, I don’t expect the same squad on Thursday.
“They will be a completely different team, and maybe they will want to prove a point or two. But at Chiefs we are ready,” Erturgal said.
Without giving away too much, Ertugral hinted that he might ring one or two changes, although it is highly unlikely that he will flirt with the idea of tampering with a winning combination.
Opara warned that Bucs will eager to bounce back against Amakhosi.
“We all saw what happened in Durban, but we want to move on and we will work towards rectifying our mistakes.”