Njabulo Ngidi
1 minute read
20 Mar 2014
8:13 am

Pirates must escape their mental prison

Njabulo Ngidi

Orlando Pirates' players hold the key to helping the outfit escape the mental prison they have locked themselves into.

FILE PICTURE: Daine Klate. (Photo by Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images)

This is the view of midfielder Daine Klate as the Buccaneers prepare for their Nedbank Cup last-16 clash with Santos in Cape Town tomorrow night.

The Sea Robbers have had an up and down campaign – reaching three cup finals, including the Caf Champions League – but they lost on all three occasions. That has resulted in doubts about their competency creeping in.

“There is a fear of losing trophies among the players,” Klate said. “But that happens when you raise the bar by winning six trophies in two seasons.

“People start to expect you to win things and anything less than that is a disaster. We know how to get to the finals but the only thing that’s missing this season is winning one. If we reach our fourth final and lose, that would be a catastrophe.

“You can see even in the way we play. That winning mentality we had is no longer there. We are now playing not to lose rather than to win.

“It was the same in the game against Thanda Royal Zulu. But that should be a turning point for us, We came back from two goals down to win.”

Klate also dismissed perceptions that he and Thabo Matlaba have not started since the arrival of Vladimir Vermezovic because they are not on good terms with the coach.

“There is this perception in social media that the coach is fighting with players,” Klate said.

“That’s not true. Thabo came to the coach on Monday and told him that he wasn’t feeling well. That’s why he didn’t play. In the derby I told him on Friday that I wasn’t feeling well so I couldn’t play.

“There is no fighting in the team. There is no animosity. There is nothing sinister.”