Tue, 22 Oct 2019

Cape Town - Orlando Pirates coach Rulani Mokwena has hailed his side's 'fighting spirit' despite the 4-3 defeat to Bidvest Wits on Saturday evening.

The loss means Pirates have won just two of their nine matches played thus far this season in all competitions. Mokwena, who took the reins from Milutin Sredojevic after the Serb resigned to join Egyptian giants Zamalek, is refusing to panic and insists that the team have improved under his tutelage.

"Before the FIFA break we had that challenge of conceding a lot of goals and not scoring, we focused a little bit on our offensive schemes and trying to find a little bit of balance, stabilise things," said Mokwena.

"We came back to AmaZulu and played a 0-0 draw, kept a clean sheet against [Golden] Arrows so it's disappointing again that we let the floodgates open but I fully agree, what you do in attack will definitely have consequences in your defensive phase, and if you don't look after the ball well enough."

Mokwena then said where the Buccaneers would have crumbled in the past after going behind, they now have the character to keep fighting.

"We are so disappointed but part of that disappointment it not forgetting about the bravery from the players," Mokwena added.

"You have to give them credit because in the past the Orlando Pirates precious squads they crumble, go 1-0 down then 2-0 to 4-0 but this one goes one goal down and tries to get an equaliser, goes 2-1 down and keeps trying to level things, 4-2 down with 10 minutes to go still try to fight back, so you need to give credit to the boys for their fighting spirit and for the mentality, but we are disappointed that we didn't win the game."

Pirates will be looking to bounce back to winning ways when they welcome Cape Town City to the Orlando Stadium on Saturday.

Kick-off is at 15:30.

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