New Blue Bulls coach Pine Pienaar is feeling the pressure after a weak start to his side's Currie Cup campaign that has resulted in them languishing in unfamiliar territory at the bottom of the standings.
The Pretoria side seemed to be their own worst enemies at times in their 36-27 capitulation to the high-flying Golden Lions at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday, and Pienaar was left scrambling for positives after their ill-disciplined display in front of the home crowd.
"No team can play with 14 players for 60 minutes. And we conceded way too many penalties. But at least I know we will improve from here," Pienaar said.
The Blue Bulls boss is doing his best to avoid a negative mindset as the pressure to perform builds from a fan-base that is not accustomed to seeing their team lose this regularly.
He commented: "We cannot start every week by looking back at what went wrong on the previous weekend. We need to start the week on a positive, emphasising our strengths.
"I expect nothing less than to be held to task if we don't do well. There is massive expectation as we have a proud record of achievement at the Blue Bulls. The pressure is massive and criticism will follow if we continue to produce results like this," he added.
Pienaar should have Springbok backline players Bjorn Basson and Wynand Olivier available for the clash with the Pumas in Nelspruit on Friday night, with lock Flip van der Merwe expected to be back as well, despite being shown a red on the weekend.
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