Pirates players save their season… again


And on the evidence of their current log position in the Absa Premiership (seventh), it’s been a necessity.

The Buccaneers host SuperSport United in their final league game of the 2015/16 season at Orlando Stadium on Saturday afternoon, with victory a must for the club to maintain their record of finishing in the top eight in the PSL era.

This week, creative midfielder Sifiso Myeni lifted the lid on the players’ state of mind ahead of a season defining encounter against Matsatsantsa - a team that they will meet again seven days later in the final of the Nedbank Cup at the Peter Mokaba Stadium.

“I won’t say the problem is our form, but sometimes the results just don’t go our way. And in football we can’t always rely on the coach alone to motivate us,” Myeni explained.

“Sometimes the coach can say certain things, but you find that the players have different feelings and will only open up to each other. If it’s just us, then anyone can share anything.

”The first time the Pirates players addressed their poor run was in January ahead of another crucial match - against bitter rivals Kaizer Chiefs - after registering a single victory in eight games. They were struggling to shake off their CAF Confederation Cup final hangover following a deflating defeat to Tunisia’s Etoile du Sahel over two legs in November last year.

At the time, Pirates were also in the bottom half of the league table, although they had a few games in hand. Myeni said the most recent decision from players to take matters into their own hands was due to Pirates again struggling and managing one win in five matches, the victory coming in the Nedbank Cup semi-final against Free State Stars in Bethlehem at the weekend.

“I think there was enough said,” he revealed. “Each and every player shared what they wanted to share and it showed that we are all in this together. It wasn’t just the captain (Thabo Matlaba) who spoke because we all had an opinion. After that meeting we got on the bus and left everything in the change rooms.

”The response was swift, with the Buccaneers thumping Stars 4-2 in their cup tie to book a date with SuperSport on May 28. Myeni said he, along with his teammates, did not want to be remembered as an underachievers.

“For us to be in this situation proves that we have let ourselves down. We know the history of the club regarding being in the top eight. We don’t want to be walking in the streets and people looking at us and saying ‘this is the class of the 2015/16 season that couldn’t get into the top eight’. We need to do this for ourselves, our family and our fans,” said the former Bidvest Wits skipper.

“The mandate is very clear. By winning against SuperSport in both matches we are actually setting the tone and preparing for next season. It’s not nice when the new season starts and your opponents are playing in the MTN8 and you are waiting for the league to start.”



The Star

Original source: Pirates players save their season... again