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Jonevret makes his rallying call to floundering Pirates

By Marc Strydom | 2017-05-19 14:10:45.0

Orlando Pirates are a team in disarray‚ their play is as patchy as a rag doll‚ their season has been dismal.

But – and perhaps exactly for that latter reason – a bet against the Buccaneers in their Nedbank Cup semifinal against Lamontville Golden Arrows at Princess Magogo Stadium on Sunday could be a risky one.

Pirates are stung. They are highly unlikely to finish in the top eight in the league for the first time in the PSL era‚ and they have one shot left at redemption in a 2016-17 season that has seen them conceded six goals twice – in the Nedbank Cup.

That makes a team playing on emotion and pride in the great club’s 80th anniversary year dangerous.

Pirates initially showed signs of progress under Kjell Jonevret since his arrival as their third coach this season in February‚ but have been unable to find the results in the league to progress into the top half‚ with far too many draws – seven from 12 matches.

Bucs’ structure might have improved but‚ despite Jonevret’s assertion that Pirates have created more chances than the teams they have played in their last four matches‚ in truth‚ the Soweto giants have still at times looked decidedly unconvincing.

But can pride and emotion make Bucs dangerous enough to paper over their notable cracks‚ especially against Clinton Larsen’s compact Arrows at a home ground the KZN team have been strong at this season?

Jonevret preferred to play down the emotional side of playing for Bucs’ badge this week‚ preferring to exhort his players to play for themselves and the glory and experience of reaching a cup final.

“For me it’s one game. It doesn’t matter if I’m coaching Orlando Pirates or Chippa United‚” he said.

“It’s one game and there is a possibility to go to a cup final. And it’s a fun thing.

“It’s a memory for the players. And also for the supporters – they travel there and build up to it and talk about the game for a long time.

“It’s a fantastic thing to be involved in. So then‚ whether it’s Orlando Pirates‚ or any club‚ I hope that the players see the possibility there.

“It’s a chance to be involved in something that they are going to remember‚ maybe for the rest of their lives.”

Jonevret believes that if Pirates continue on their more structured path under the coach that so far has only been half-effective‚ things can click together for Bucs in Durban.

“I have said to the players‚ ‘You are doing a lot of positive things’. That I have to believe. And I hope that the players believe it‚” he said.

“It has been a bit of a chaos of a season‚ with three coaches and about 40 players. But we can’t think about that now.

“We have to focus on Sunday and trying to do something good. And then we can sit down – the club‚ the office‚ everyone – and try to discuss what we have done well and what we can do better for the future.

“But right now I absolutely believe that these guys can beat Golden Arrows. And then‚ if you are in the final‚ anything can happen.”

- TMG Digital/TMG Sport