Sport

Pressure mounts on Pirates

2016-10-16 05:45

Johannesburg - Almost a year later, Oupa Manyisa is going back to Polokwane, where he sustained an ankle injury that sidelined him for about nine months.

Manyisa will lead Orlando Pirates against Polokwane City at Peter Mokaba Stadium, where he last played before the nine-month layoff.

After going two games without a win, pressure is on coach Muhsin Ertugral to turn the tables when Pirates visit City on Sunday afternoon.

The Buccaneers started the season on a high, with back-to-back victories over Golden Arrows and Ajax Cape Town, but they were stopped by Cape Town City and Platinum Stars in their previous two games.

The two-week international break should have given Ertugral enough time to work on the team’s weaknesses ahead of their visit to Polokwane.

Pirates have been too reliant on Tendai Ndoro, who started the season with a hat-trick and a brace against Arrows and Ajax, respectively. But he has not been at his best recently, and failed to score in their last two games.

Ertugral’s downfall has been his inconsistent starting line-up and player rotation while trying to give more players a chance to play.

He should know his playing personnel by now.

City will not be pushovers as the Belgian mentor, Luc Eymael, seems to have found his footing in the Premier Soccer League after a slow start.

They are unbeaten in their last four games and will be buoyed by their back-to-back victories over Highlands Park and Maritzburg United.

Thobani Mncwango, who only played for a minute in the Bafana Bafana game against Ghana, should be eager to prove to national coach Shakes Mashaba what a good striker he really is.

But all eyes will be on Manyisa to see if he is psychologically ready to play after the injury, particularly because he will be playing at the same venue where his career was almost cut short.

Another league game will see Highlands Park taking a short trip to Atteridgeville, where they visit SuperSport United at Lucas Moripe Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Both games kickoff at 15:30.

August 20 2017