Muhsin Ertugral was frank on Thursday when asked what his targets were with Orlando Pirates this season.
“Everything that blinks you have to play for,” admitted Pirates’ Turkish coach, with the glittering Carling Black Label Cup sitting alongside him inside the Rand Stadium.
Ertugral knows all too well the pressures of coaching a Soweto giant – he spent years on the other side of the fence at Kaizer Chiefs. As such, even in a Soweto derby where he has not picked the side – the Carling Black Label Cup – there is a certain onus on him to emerge with a win.
“This tournament is unique in the world,” added Ertugral.
“I know the line-up now, and I have got to see what kind of pattern we operate … it is nice to start the season with a derby.”
Tendai Ndoro will partner Thamsanqa Gabuza up front for Pirates tomorrow, and Ertugral hinted that this is a combination he could use in the new season.
“It is a great combination with Gabuza and Ndoro, why play one when you can have two strikers that complement each other?” said the Pirates coach.
“I went to the president (Irvin Khoza) to look into the detail a bit more and we saw we didn’t seem to have a striker with their back to the opponent, we had players who want to face the goal. But Gabuza is actually a mixture, he can come and hold the ball, so these are elements we have to look at, they actually combine very well with each other.”
Pirates have surprised many by placing Sifiso Myeni on the transfer list, but Ertugral indicated that this was to make room for new winger Riyaad Norodien, signed from Ajax Cape Town this season.
“The team is a living organism and we had to analyse. Players are like the stock market – we have a lot of fantastic wingers in the country and here at Pirates. We got another good one from Ajax in Riyaad, so someone also had to give way. The boy (Myeni) is not a bad player but we needed to open spaces for other players.”