De Sa has his work cut out for him with Pirates
ROGER de Sa takes the first step of his "one hell of a challenge" with Orlando Pirates in Rustenburg tomorrow.
The defending Absa Premiership champions travel to the Royal Bafokeng stadium to take on Platinum Stars - not quite a baptism of fire for new coach De Sa.
But it is a tricky encounter nonetheless for the former Wits man, who replaced Augusto Palacios as Bucs coach on Monday. Palacios cited a back problem.
Pirates captain Lucky Lekgwathi revealed this week that the players had met with the new coach on Tuesday as he outlined some of his plans for the club.
De Sa has signed a three-year contract with Bucs. "This (a new coach) usually brings a change of mindset and a different approach," the skipper said on the club website.
"Roger De Sa met us and he laid down his intentions and expectations. We know what kind of coach he is and what style of football he wants us to play. He believes in good organisation and professionalism on and the off the field."
Pirates are ninth on the PSL table, and Lekgwathi said only a win could get the side back on track to defend their league title.
"I understand that this won't be easy and that Stars are a good side, but sitting where we are right now leaves us with very little [option] other than to go out and fight tooth-and-nail for maximum points.
"A win puts us in the top six."
A quick turn-around is expected from De Sa. He takes over a team that has only registered one win in three league matches.
In addition Bucs surrendered their MTN8 title with the 3-0 defeat by Supersport United last month.
They have also failed to score in their last four matches, including the two semifinal clashes against United in the Top 8.
Kaizer Chiefs, on the other hand, are buzzing - they have in-form strikers as they look to stretch their lead at the top of the PSL.
Amakhosi host Black Leopards at Soccer City tomorrow night and forwards Bernard Parker, who tops the scorers' charts with four goals so far, and Kingston Nkatha will play key roles.
Nkatha, a former Leopards marksman, has netted twice in three matches.
Parker has also carried his club form over to the national team, scoring twice for Bafana Bafana against Mozambique in Nelspruit to take his tally to 12 goals in 44 internationals.
Chiefs want vengeance against Leopards who beat the Glamour Boys 1-0 at the same venue in April, leading to the Amakhosi missing out on yet another league title.
The narrow defeat contributed to Chiefs losing further ground on Mamelodi Sundowns, table-toppers at the time, in the hunt for the championship.
The Naturena side sacked then coach Vladimir Vermezovic eight days later. Leopards find themselves two points behind Chiefs ahead of tomorrow night's clash.
Lidoda Duvha have managed only one win, on the opening day of the PSL against Bloemfontein Celtic. The other two games, against Wits and Chippa United, were draws.