Orlando Pirates head coach Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic is anticipating a very competitive 2019/20 Premier Soccer League (PSL) season.

The Serbian tactician guided the Buccaneers to a second-place finish in the PSL for the second year in the 2018/19 campaign.

Sredojevic, who is in his second spell as Bucs coach, feels the team have improved under his guidance.

“One thing is for sure, we have had steady progress and we are growing as a team. It has been shown in the last two seasons,” Sredojevic told Newzroom Afrika.

“In the 2017/18 season, we finished second with 55 points. Last season, we finished second with 57 points. One goal denied us the championship.”

Pirates were in pole position to win last season’s PSL title until they drew 2-2 with Cape Town City on May 4, with Craig Martin scoring late to ensure the points were shared.

Sredojevic identified their arch-rivals Kaizer Chiefs as one of the teams which will compete with the Buccaneers for major trophies in the new campaign.

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Amakhosi have been busy in the transfer window, having signed Australian midfielder Kearyn Baccus, Ghanaian midfield mastro James Kotei, Zambian forward Lazarous Kambole and Micho’s countryman Samir Nurkovic, who is striker.

“Now we have no right to think everything will be given to us on a silver platter. We have to work really hard and we have to know that the champions, Sundowns are getting strong,” he added.

“Kaizer Chiefs are also getting strong with the players they got.

“Other teams Bidvest Wits, Cape Town City and SuperSport United all them (are also getting strong). We are expecting a thrilling and competitive season.”

Pirates are scheduled to face Chiefs in the 2019 Carling Black Cup clash, the high profile pre-season match at the FNB Stadium on July 27.

Bucs will then open their 2019/20 PSL campaign against Bloemfontein Celtic at Orlando Stadium on August 3.

Austin Ditlhobolo