Posted: 15 February 2019
Former Orlando Pirates striker Lennox Bacela has expressed faith in the current crop of players to go all the way and emulate the class of 2013’s CAF Champions League exploits.
Bacela was part of the squad that went all the way to the premier continental club competition final, where Pirates came undone in the second leg away to Al Ahly.
This is the club’s first appearance in the competition since then and have already made it to the group stage, where they now sit rather precariously in third position in Group B following their defeat away to Esperance.
In comparison, the current squad have lagged behind in terms of their progress in the group stage, but Bacela is confident they can still turn it around in their remaining games against FC Platinum and Horoya, while he also shared some words of advice.
“Looking back at the squad that we had [in 2013], there were a lot of strong characters and we had a very good team spirit and plenty of belief amongst us,” Bacela tells KickOff.com.
“In the team then, we had a lot of winners – guys who had won things previously at the club or at previous clubs, so that brought a positive mentality that, irrespective what the situation was, we believed we could still do it.
“Looking at the current team, it’s a very good squad but we can only hope that some of the guys, along with the technical team and management, can instil that sort of belief in the squad.
“The guys need to back themselves to still progress irrespective of the current circumstances they find themselves in, and make sure the team spirit remains high.”
The 35-year-old, who scored two crucial goals in back-to-back fixtures against Zamalek during that group stage campaign, stressed the importance of playing to get results away from home if they are to go all the way.
“The current squad is very good and there are many talented individuals, but the CAF Champions League boils down to how mentally strong everyone can be,” he emphasises.
“As much as it’s important to collect points at home, it’s also important to get results away especially in North or West Africa, where I know it’s tough but it helps a lot.
“But I still believe the guys can do it and, as I said, they need to believe amongst themselves that it’s still possible, and obviously they need the points at home [against FC Platinum] and then try to get something away [against Horoya].
“The team now need to dig deep because it’s very important they qualify for the next round.”
Article by: Chad Klate (@CKlatey)
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Source link : http://www.kickoff.com/news/93119/lennox-bacela-backing-orlando-pirates-em
Author : Chad Klate (@CKlatey)
Publish date : 2019-02-15 13:06:28