Njabulo Ngidi
1 minute read
5 Nov 2013
7:00 am

De Sa’s in a relaxed mode

Njabulo Ngidi

Roger de Sa, is sleeping more soundly after Pirates' 1-1 draw with Al Ahly in the first leg of the Caf Champions League final at Orlando Stadium, than he did in the days leading up to it.

FILE PICTURE: Roger De Sa, coach of Orlando Pirates. Picture: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix.

Knowing what they have to do to claim their second continental title is what has put the coach at ease. Pirates have to either beat Al Ahly on Sunday or hold them to a draw of two or more goals, but they will have to do that without the suspended duo of skipper Happy Jele and Andile Jali.

This should open things up for Lucky Lekgwathi’s return to the side for the first time since September, while Lehlohonolo Masalesa will deputise for Jali. “We all know how difficult it is going to be,” De Sa said.

“There is no doubt about it. To be honest with you, my anxiety before this match was not knowing what we are going with in the second game. Right now we know what we have. We know what we have to do.

“That anxiety is over and now the planning starts. To beat Al-Ahly in Egypt is tough, but we have done it before. It will be more difficult to do it a second time around. We just have to block off the crowd like we usually do and play the game.”

De Sa’s worries will include shuffling the pack without Jele. He admitted the goal they conceded was from a silly mistake made by Ayanda Gcaba, a left-back playing at centre-back.

De Sa could either move him to his normal position for Lekgwathi to partner Rooi Mahamutsa at centre-back and move Thabo Matlaba to right-back, or Lekgwathi could slot in at right-back.

“I can’t tell you now that these 11 will play but at least we know what we need,” De Sa said. “Maybe we will try to be more offensive, change the formation a bit.”