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Ertugral raring to go in season opener

Posted on Tuesday, August 23, 2016 - 13:58

The much anticipated start of the 2016 / 2017 ABSA Premiership season is upon us. Orlando Pirates will take on a formidable side in Lamontville Golden Arrows at the Orlando Stadium on Wednesday, 24 August 2016, kick-off at 19h30.

While Muhsin Ertugral has had, by his own account, mixed results during his first pre-season at the helm of the Bucs ship, he has remained positive about the teamís progress throughout.

Ertugral opened up to the Clubís website over the preparedness for the season opener against Abafana Besíthende.

Your thoughts on coaching your first official Bucs match?

ME: Well I donít take any team lightly; we respect all our opposition and we are aware that the match against Arrows will be a tough one. A team of Orlando Piratesí calibre has to start very well so we will definitely be on the hunt for all three points tomorrow.

There are areas where there are a lot of changes and through these changes the team will have different patterns of play and organisation through the different aspects of the game, so the boys will have to adjust to all these elements constantly. But nonetheless I think we have prepared very well, especially over the last camp which was vital to show us where we stand.

Is Mobaraís match suspension problematic in relation to your game plan for Arrows?

ME: It is always a concern when you donít have all your players available to you, but I will not mention who will play there because I donít want to spoil the element of surprise. We would have loved to have Mobara in that defensive midfield position; he had a wonderful tournament with the Olympics and it would have been nice to start with him for the first match. Fortunately for us we have a lot of good prospects in that position and we have worked on the other players, elements and patterns that are available to us. We overcame a few challenges in the beginning, particularly with how we wanted the players to approach the game, which is normal under the circumstances [of a new coaching staff and new players], but the good thing for us is that we have such a great squad and I am confident that they can get the job done.

ME: There is a lot of excitement around the team; we have struck a good balance of youth and experience and I think we will deliver the type of football that will excite our supporters while we get the results. I am very excited over the prospects we have in the team, players from the Olympics like Kutumela, Motupa and Mobara as well as the young players such as Lebohang Sentsho from the Orlando Pirates under-23 side who has been promoted to the first team.

Any message for the Ghost?

ME: I must say thank you and that Iím grateful for the support they have shown me. Some of them have sent me direct messages on Twitter, telling me that they will be coming from all around the country to support us this week and on Saturday in the MTN8 quarterfinal. I just want to say we appreciate the support and will work hard to make them Happy People once again, starting with the match against Arrows on Wednesday.

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