Orlando Pirates co-coach Fadlu Davids has spoken about a risk they took on Thembinkosi Lorch, after their Soweto Derby loss against Kaizer Chiefs.
Lorch, who was rendered unlikely to play, after suffering a hamstring injury, ended up starting the derby loss against Chiefs for Pirates, which shocked many.
Lorch surprise derby appearance
Lorch had been substituted in the game Pirates played in midweek against Cape Town City, with Davids then confirming it was unlikely he would feature in the derby. He would then go on to take the field from the start, but did not have his most influential game of the season.
Ahead of Pirates, Nedbank Cup last round of 16 side against a resurgent Marumo Gallants outfit, Davids has explained the management team’s plans on handling Lorch’s injury situation.
How they have managed him since his return
“You just got to look into December, the December period where we had eight matches with two days in between we were in that period where that was the period where Lorch came back from his operation on his shoulder.There was a big discussion in relation to his minimal standards and is he ready to play. And with two matches every week, they weren’t friendly matches. You pursue minimal standards, you’re ready now to start playing competitive matches. So ideally, you’d want him to play at least 45 minutes before you start integrating him into the squad.” Said Davids as per iDiski Times.
Davids then pointed out the risk Pirates had to take on Lorch, as far back as December, when the supporters were already desperately calling for his return to the fold.
The risk Pirates took on him in December
“And we had that game where it was AmaZulu, we went slightly ahead of schedule, we put him (Lorch) in the last 10 minutes okay, he’s not going to be able to play a friendly match. There are no friendly matches scheduled within that time. So we took the risk in bringing him in a slightly too early in December. But it paid off within that 10 minutes he created four clear cut opportunities could have scored himself right at the death.” Said Davids.
“So we have to be clear in relation to how we manage not only him, but the entire squad. He is not yet, if you look at the data in relation to last season, in relation to the season before, certain KPIs, he’s not yet reaching that level. But it will come with time, We have to support not only him but the entire group and manage the group well, that you get the best team on the pitch at all times not necessarily the best players on the pitch.” Concluded Davids.
It now remains to be seen how many minutes, if any that Lorch will receive against Gallants in Wednesday’s feature.