Micho hints at squad changes

Orlando Pirates coach Milutin Sredojevic has hinted at changes in playing personnel at the Absa Premiership runners-up ahead of an important 2019/20 season.

With two barren seasons under the belt, the stakes and expectations have understandably increased ahead of Micho’s third season at the helm.

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Pirates will also be back in the CAF Champions League, where they will be expected to go at least one step further than the group stage exit they suffered earlier this year.

While beefing up is certainly on the cards, the Serbian tactician has also given an indication of assessments players will undergo on whether they will stay or go, including those who were out on loan.

““We as coaching team have presented and submitted [names of transfer targets], and now it’s in the operational part of management to see,” said Micho.

“Two aspects need to be taken into consideration – the sport aspect of what we need, and the economical aspect [cost of transfers].

We shall inform about the element of off-loading. There is always deep analysis on who should go and who should come; who should go on loan and who should return from loan. “Those are the questions that will be answered prior to us starting our pre-season on June 16-17.”

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The likes of Zakhele Lepasa are amongst the loanees that have won over the Buccaneers’ faithful in recent weeks, following his heroics for Nedbank Cup champions TS Galaxy, but Sredojevic refused to give away much regarding a decision on the 22-year-old forward.

“It’s a very tough assessment but we shall have at least three weeks with them to see whether they have grown enough to make a significant difference.

“Are they ready to come and make their stamp and add value, rather than just add number, or do they still need to get more mileage in their legs at other teams before coming to us.

“We shall not speak about the names, but we shall look at what the team needs as we enter into five competitions and after a season in which we had 46 matches, and we expect to have much more next season.

“So, we really need to have two to three places covered in each position, so that performance and quality of results does not suffer, no matter who is in or out.”

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