Struggling Pirates and Polokwane meet

FILE IMAGE: Orlando Pirates players during the Nedbank Cup, Last 32 match between Black Leopards and Orlando Pirates at Thohoyandou Stadium on January 26, 2019 in Thohoyandou, South Africa.
FILE IMAGE: Orlando Pirates players during the Nedbank Cup, Last 32 match between Black Leopards and Orlando Pirates at Thohoyandou Stadium on January 26, 2019 in Thohoyandou, South Africa.
Image: Philip Maeta/Gallo Images

Ordinarily Orlando Pirates would on most days make easy work of Polokwane City, especially with the Limpopo outfit having just fired their coach, but the result this time is not so certain.

Rise and Shine will travel to the Orlando Stadium to take on the Buccaneers in a league clash tomorrow (7.30pm).

Both teams are facing turbulence as a poor string of results has made life difficult for both clubs. Their form has been near identical as they both have 13 points after 11 games.

This record was enough for Polokwane boss Johnny Mogaladi to show coach Zlakto Krmpotic the door two weeks ago. What hastened the axing of the coach was their dismal run of five losses in a row. Assistant coach Bernard Molekwa is now in charge of the team and is expected to be in charge against Pirates (he was also in charge for the 1-0 loss to Baroka).

Bucs coach Rulani Mokwena, on the other side, has the confidence of club owner Irvin Khoza and has been given time to resuscitate the team during this difficult spell.

Their back-to-back losses to arch-rivals Kaizer Chiefs in the league and Telkom Knockout quarterfinals intensified pressure on Mokwena.

The TKO loss to Chiefs will be remembered for Mokwena's furious rant as much as for the result. The rookie coach lashed out at Chiefs players, describing them as "thuggish" following the 3-2 defeat.

As the season approaches its halfway mark, it remains to be seen if they can turn their fortunes around. With Cavin Johnson and Patrick Aussems linked with the coaching job at City, Molekwa said his job was to train the team regardless of what happens.

"As a team we have a job on the field and anything that happens outside of that doesn't not affect us," he said.

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