Ertugral happy to keep Bucs guessing

Nedbank Cup

January recruits Yannick Zakri, Tendai Ndoro and Fagrie Lakay have all already opened their accounts for the Urban Warriors, as the team look to claw their way up the standings and out of the relegation zone.

Next up though is a Nedbank Cup tie against Pirates, the very same team they beat 3-0 in the league last week, though two-goal hero Zakri, as well as captain Mosa Lebusa and concussed goalkeeper Brandon Petersen, will be unavailable for the cup fixture.

“Yannick is injured – he picked up an unnecessary injury, and it will take two to three weeks to heal – it’s a muscle tear,” Ertugral confirmed. “Mosa is also injured, and has a tear as well.”

“We have our full trust in Jody [February], who I spoke to three weeks again, saying he would get the cup games. This game would’ve been his anyway, as he came in for Brandon, who was concussed [against Pirates]. A concussion needs time to heal.”

Despite the set-back, Ertugral has an array of strikers at his disposal, having yet to unleash fringe players Muzi Thabotha and Sedwyn George as well, leaving the tactician licking his lips at his possible combinations and the various approaches he could take against his former employers.

“It’s a nice headache to have,” he said. “Fagrie is a talent I remember from when he was 17, a talent who I saw was an upcoming player. But he’ll be playing against clever defenders who will close his space, so we need to understand how we will escape that.

“Tendai is not a big player who takes on players like Yannick – he’s a different player, more in the box, so he’ll have to be more forward to score goals.

“We also have Muzi Thabotha, who at any moment can get in, while Sedwyn this week looked extraordinary and is really hungry, but there’s some details we need to look into if we play with two strikers, with one striker, or with three strikers – so one, two or three is a nice guess for them!

“We’ll see, but we are very versatile and have different types, depending on the system we play, so that makes me very happy.”

Kick-off at Orlando Stadium on Saturday is set for 20h15.