Igesund backs Zinnbauer to remain at Orlando Pirates

Neville Khoza Journalist
Orlando Pirates' coach Josef Zinnbauer.
Orlando Pirates' coach Josef Zinnbauer.
Image: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Gordon Igesund believes it is difficult to judge how Orlando Pirates coach Josef Zinnbauer performed in his first season in charge.

Zinnbauer, who joined Pirates four months into the season after replacing Milutin Sredojevic, managed to guide the club to a third-place finish and to qualify them for CAF Confederation Cup.

Igesund, who won the league and BP Top 8 titles in his first year in charge of the Buccaneers in 2000, said Zinnbauer must be judged only next season.

“What I would say is that I think it has been a difficult year for everybody, not only for him,” Igesund told Sowetan yesterday.

“He started off really well and then the situation happened with the pandemic around no training and the league was put off for six months. So, all these things have been very difficult and it has affected different teams. I think it is very hard to judge him on this past year.

“It is very difficult to be judged because no team has been at their best, it is very unfair to say yes, you are happy or you are not happy.”

When he took over, the 50-year-old found the Buccaneers sitting in sixth place with just 17 points from 13 matches.

He then went on to register six straight victories at some stage before going through a bad patch prior to the season being halted by the outbreak of the coronavirus in mid-March.

In 18 matches he has been in charge of (17 in the league and one in the Nedbank Cup), the German mentor recorded 10 victories, five draws, and three defeats.

With Pirates now having been linked with Gavin Hunt, Igesund feels the coach should be given a chance next season where he can be judged fairly.

“I think under the circumstances he has done really okay. The team has qualified for Africa now,” Igesund said.

“That’s a very big positive. I think at one stage they were challenging for the league. I think he had a fairly good season to finish third.

“I think to be fair, I will certainly suggest he must be given a chance. He had the team for one year, so maybe don’t count this year already. Let’s see what will happen next season.

“This season they will be playing in the CAF Confederation and they have the opportunity to start from scratch, so I think let see how it goes.”

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