Rulani Mokwena started the mind games on Monday when he suggested that rivals Kaizer Chiefs miss former coach Steve Komphela.
Speaking ahead during a press conference on Monday, the Orlando Pirates assistant coach said the current Chiefs coach Giovanni Solinas does not have enough of the technical know-hows to outsmart Bucs on Saturday.
Mokwena told reporters: “Honestly‚ without sounding biased to probably my allegiance to Steve‚ but I think having lost Steve Komphela is, in my opinion, a big loss for Chiefs from a technical perspective.
‘‘The type of leader that he is‚ the tactical acumen that he possesses‚ I think in that regard I think if you compare the previous team to this team and from an organisational perspective‚ you can clearly see the lack of a coach of that calibre.
‘‘Without taking anything away from the current head coach (Giovanni Solinas)‚ but I do think that in Steve Komphela you can see with regards to how they played last season and how they play this season.”
Komphela left Chiefs in April after fans ran onto the pitch and violently attacked security officials following a 2-0 Nedbank Cup semifinal defeat to Free State Stars at Moses Mabhida Stadium.
He joined Bloemfontein Celtic during the offseason and has done well since joining them.
‘‘You can see from the really minutest of details‚ you can see the influence and the loss that has taken place,” commented Mokwena.
“Be that as it may‚ in losing from a technical leadership perspective‚ I think technically with regards to the personnel they have made huge strides.
‘‘They have improved drastically I think.
“The acquisitions they have made‚ the players they have brought in have probably gone on to cover for the lack of technical expertise on the bench that was there last season.”
Pirates are set to host Chiefs at FNB Stadium on Saturday at 3.30pm.