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'Ndah's injury unsettled Orlando Pirates' - Davids rues Nigerian defender's departure after Mamelodi Sundowns defeat

8:41 am AEDT 18/12/21
Fadlu Davids, Orlando Pirates, October 2020
The Nigeria international was rock solid at the heart of the Bucs defence in the first-half as the visitors contained Masandawana

Orlando Pirates co-coach Fadlu Davids was left to rue Olisa Ndah's departure following the Soweto giants' embarrassing defeat to Mamelodi Sundowns on Friday night. 

The Buccaneers conceded four times in the second-half as they succumbed to a 4-1 defeat to Masandawana in a PSL match at Loftus Versfeld Stadium with Ndah having been substituted at half-time due to injury. 

"It was a very good first half from our team, the injury to Ndah unsettled us slightly but normally we're very good on set-pieces, defending set-pieces and the two set-pieces is what determined the game you know," Davids told SuperSport TV. 

"Within the first five minutes conceding the first and seven minutes later conceding the second and that changed the game completely. The complexion of the game where we were on top in the first-half and those two goals definitely unsettled us, which we could not recover from. 

"With the fantastic first-half we had it was just about consolidating, yes the injury in the last moment of our half-time team talk where Ndah couldn't continue with a knee injury."

"But that doesn't take away why we couldn't defend the set-piece, we didn't concede this season off a set-piece at all, so we were really stingy in that department and to concede the two goals is what changed the game," he continued. 

"We couldn't then lift our heads and continue to play the way we played in the first-half and that's really what we have to work on, the mentality, don't give up. 1-0 up in the first-half keep going, head up, keep strong like you did in the first-half and compete."

Fortune Makaringe grabbed Pirates' late consolation goal and Davids urged his charges to keep their head up with the Buccaneers to take on Marumo Gallants on Monday. 

"It was really a fantastic physical performance in terms of the high pressing, in terms of the counter-pressing, it's now the fourth game in eight days so really to be able to fight the way we did was good," he said.

"But the mentality, don't give up once you go 2-0 down with two set-pieces, keep fighting, keep your heads up, you're Orlando Pirates don't give up and there's a chance for you to come back, no matter if it's 2-0, you can win the game 4-2 and that's what we have to work on. 

"We've got to keep our heads up, take the first-half performance, recover and then ready to face Marumo [Gallants]."