Pirates stand-in coach Rulani Mokwena admits Bucs are in a crisis of confidence

Interim Orlando Pirates coach Rulani Mokwena says the team's confidence levels have dipped.
Interim Orlando Pirates coach Rulani Mokwena says the team's confidence levels have dipped.
Image: Sydney Mahlangu/ BackpagePix

Orlando Pirates stand-in coach Rulani Mokwena has admitted that the Bucs are in a crisis of confidence.

Pirates were handed an embarrassingly early exit from the African Champions League at the hands of Zambian rookies Green Eagles at the weekend and Mokwena conceded that the Bucs are reeling.

A 1-1 draw at the Orlando Stadium in the second leg of the first round tie handed Green Eagles a 2-1 aggregate triumph on Saturday night.

“Confidence is a consequence of results‚” said Mokwena.

Eagles are competing in Africa’s top club competition for the first time and hailed their success as the biggest in their club’s history.

But for Pirates it was yet another miserable night after a tentative start to the season‚ highlighted by a lack of goals and last week’s abrupt departure of coach Milutin Sredojevic.

“Wins breed confidence but they have been in short supply at the moment.

"At the same time‚ goals haven’t been coming‚” added Mokwona.

Pirates had a mountain of chances as they laid siege to their opponents’ goal‚ but they displayed the kind of finishing prowess that undid all the quality they displayed in other departments.

The performance emphasised that the inability to score is now a plague for South African football.

“The boys gave their all‚" Mokwena continued.

"You cannot ask for more.

"I think it was clear to see that the players did the best they could‚ they left everything on the pitch.

“We tried from a technical perspective to alter the structure in the second half‚ to change things and get the result on our side.

“We were a bit unfortunate not to convert some our chances‚” Mokoena said with a dash of understatement.

“But the performance was encouraging.

"The result unfortunately did not go our way.

“When you go through these sorts of difficulties‚ it’s like Murphy’s Law. Anything that can go wrong‚ goes wrong.

"We are in that moment‚ we just have to stick together‚ be strong and keep going.”

Happy Jele’s 60th minute goal was the first in five games for Pirates‚ who have already been bundled out of the MTN8.

“We have to take‚ like the previous match against AmaZulu‚ at this moment in time‚ marginal gains.

“The marginal gain against AmaZulu was a clean sheet‚ the marginal gain against Green Eagles was that we managed to put one ball into the back of the net from the many chances we created‚” added the caretaker coach.

“Of course‚ we can do better‚ we know we can do better.

"It’s just about finding that victory and also getting back to work to find our balance and stability and in our game forms.

“But at least the FIFA break comes and gives us an opportunity to put in some work because we have a very good technical team and‚ at this moment‚ we believe we need a little bit of time on the pitch to stabilise things‚ to give our players confidence.”