Although he did not give away too much ahead of their meeting with rookies Stellenbosch FC this evening, Orlando Pirates interim coach Rulani Mokwena did pay a generous compliment to his counterpart, Steve Barker.
The Buccaneers host the Premier Soccer League new boys in the opening round of the Telkom Knockout and it is the Soweto giants who need victory more – just one victory in seven games putting Mokwena under pressure.
“It’s a tough match, never easy to play a team that is relatively new and unknown. They have an experienced technical team, and Steve Barker knows the league. They’ve done well in the transfer market and kept the core of the team that helped them win promotion,” was the Pirates’ coach assessment this week.
The two sides faced off in a pre-season friendly, but both teams, especially Stellenbosch, have a different look to them after their late transfer activity.
“For us our ethos is hard work in preparation. We try to be prepared for the opposition. The players have done the work and we had a lot of time to analyse the opposition. We have checked their last 8 games. They have evolved since we played them during pre-season. We are aware of their strengths and weaknesses. We are wary of them, but we have had to check where we are and how to improve,” Mokwena added.