|Muhsin Ertugral © Backpagepix
Golden Arrows coach, Muhsin Ertugral has warned that there will be no freebies for Orlando Pirates when the two sides meet in an Absa Premiership decider this weekend.
Orlando Pirates need to beat Arrows to ensure back-to-back success in the Absa Premiership. But they will meet a Arrows side in a foul mood following their 4-1 defeat to Ajax Cape Town on Saturday,.
Defeat or a draw for Pirates would leave the door wide open for Moroka Swallows to nip in and claim the trophy.
“(Against Ajax) We didn’t use very important players – Collins Mbesuma, Clifford Ngobeni, Elrio van Heerden, these are big names in South African football.
“We sidelined them and brought the youngsters in, but it didn’t work out. But we are looking at building for next season, that’s the first reason.
“The second reason, is next week, we are going to use the big boys, that’s for sure – there will be no gifts. We don’t want to be seen as the people who are giving something out.”
Against Ajax in Cape Town, Ertugral’s side got off to a suicidal start, with two goal-keeping errors from youngster Nkosingiphile Gumede allowing the hosts to score twice within the opening 11 minutes.
The second goal was particularly bad, with Gumede allowing Lebo Manyama’s harmless looking cross to spill into the net; resulting in an early substitution in between the sticks.
“I said clearly we need to survive the first 20 minutes, that was the main topic for us. It was a nice Christmas gift from my goal keeper – I could have saved that one!
“The youngster saved us in many games, but that was unbelievable and put us on the back foot,” said Erugral, a former Ajax coach himself.
For Urban Warriors coach Maarten Stekelenburg, it has not been the smoothest of campaigns in his first season as head coach, the Cape side failing to come close to matching last season’s exploits when they finished second in the league.
But he at least got the satisfaction of a convincing victory in the club’s final home game of the season.
“I said to the boys it’s been a disappointing season at home, not getting the results we wanted and so I was glad we finished off the season at home on a good note.
“There was a time after scoring the two goals when we looked a little bit shaky, and also in the second half we had to adapt to the opponents’ change of tactics.
“I must give a big compliment to our debutant, Toriq Losper, from our own academy. He played very well in midfield today and I’m looking forward to seeing more of him next season.
“We believe as Ajax we need to be in the top eight. We wanted to finish in the top four, but that didn’t happen and we believe we belong in at least the top eight.”