Jonty Mark
Football Editor
2 minute read
19 Oct 2016
9:06 am

We are not playing well – Ertugral

Jonty Mark

Muhsin Ertugral has acknowledged that his Orlando Pirates side are simply not on their game as they prepare to take on high-flying Golden Arrows in the Telkom Knockout last-16 on Sunday.

Ordinarily, the Buccaneers would be heavy favourites to beat an Arrows side that has consistently been rolled over by the Soweto giants over the years.

Pirates even beat Arrows 3-1 in the first league game of this season, but while Clinton Larsen’s side have surged to the top of the league, Ertugral’s Pirates have stalled. The Buccaneers were extremely lucky to get a 1-1 draw with Polokwane City on Sunday.

“That (the Arrows game) was the best game we have played so far,” said Ertugral.

“We are not playing well at the moment, we know that. The patterns are not right, the organisation is not good, there are a lot of elements we need to look into. We want to have the fans smiling. We look at every game in detail and we criticise. Some players need to get used to that. We escaped on Sunday, it was a game that should have been sealed by our opponents in the second half.”

Ertugral has been around the block as a coach in South Africa and is well aware that it can take time to implement your philosophy at a club.

“It took me six months at Kaizer Chiefs, they wanted to hang me from the highest pole and then we had fantastic success,” he said.

In terms of players getting used to criticism, Ertugral cited the example of goalkeeper Brighton Mhlongo, who has fought hard to win his place back in the Buccaneers starting line-up, and even made his Bafana Bafana debut against Ghana last week.

“Constructive criticism is sometimes needed, I think the criticism of Brighton made him what he is today. I think I needed to tickle that out a bit.

“Maybe his two games out of the team helped. Football is a living organism, you have 33 players who are effectively their own companies and you need to bring these companies together to make one team.”

Pirates, meanwhile, could be without strikers Tendai Ndoro and Thabiso Kutumela for the game against Arrows, with both limping out of training yesterday.