“He is a great coach, tactically everything is superb,” said the Bucs goalkeeper on Ertugral, who joined Pirates in mid-June, and took the players on a pre-season camp to Potchefstroom.
“The (pre-season) camp helped us a lot. We got to understand his personality and the type of football he wants us to play. Everyone is on the same page, we just have to move forward as a team. He keeps preaching that we are one family here … we must stay united and fight for the same goal.”
Mhlongo is part of the Pirates team for the Black Label Cup, with the sides voted for by the supporters. Pirates defender Happy Jele acknowledged the importance of being picked by the club’s fans.
“I think it is a great feeling, it shows you are doing really well and I really appreciate the fans voting for me. For us it (the cup) is preparation, but obviously when you play Chiefs in a derby you want to win.”
The game will also provide the Pirates fans inside a packed FNB Stadium with a chance to see midfielder Oupa Manyisa for the first time since he broke his ankle last September.
“It was a difficult time for me but I had to take it, it is part of football,” said Manyisa.
Pirates have generally had the better of Chiefs in the five previous editions of the Black Label Cup, winning four times, on every occasion via a penalty shoot-out.
This will be the first time for Ertugral in the Pirates dugout in a derby, having previous spent two separate spells as head coach of Chiefs. And the Buccaneers coach praised the team selection of the fans.
“I think there is only one position I would have changed,” said Ertugral.
“How we play is a different story, if it is 3-5-2, 4-5-1 or a diamond shape. It is not just selecting the team … now for us the business comes in how we approach the game,” he said.