Lack of early rhythm a worry for Zinnbauer

Unconvincing Bucs face stern Stellies test

Orlando Pirates coach Josef Zinnbauer and Malawian striker Gabadinho Mhango speak to the media during the club's media day on January 13 2020.
Orlando Pirates coach Josef Zinnbauer and Malawian striker Gabadinho Mhango speak to the media during the club's media day on January 13 2020.
Image: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Despite another preseason of hype, Orlando Pirates are far from convincing as their first two games against Cape Town City and AmaZulu left Bucs fans with more questions than answers.

The Soweto giants huffed and puffed against City when they recorded a narrow 1-0 victory in their MTN8 quarterfinal showdown two weeks ago. At the weekend, Bucs were not convincing either in their 1-1 draw in their opening DStv Premiership encounter against AmaZulu.

Coach Joseph Zinnbauer is also not happy with his team’s showing.

Despite refreshing his squad with several high-profile new faces, Bucs are yet to find their top gear, and this worries their coach.

Zinnbauer will be hoping for an improved performance when Bucs welcome Stellenbosch in the Premiership at Orlando Stadium today (7.30pm).

Will the German be left smiling or will he endure more frustration tonight? He will be hoping for a positive result at home. “We struggled to find our rhythm and were not convincing against City. We still have to work on the conditioning of the players,” he said after the win against City.

A week later, it was the same story in their opening league game at the Kings Park Stadium in Durban. Bucs conceded a soft penalty and only scored via the boot of last season's joint top scorer Gabadinho Mhango from the penalty spot.

Bucs suffered a shock loss to Stellies away last season but won the home leg 1-0. The two meetings produced two goals, and Bucs should brace themselves for another frustrating evening as the Western Cape side don’t concede a lot and prefer to keep it nice and tight at the back.

“We were too casual against AmaZulu. We were bad in the first half but improved in the second. We still have a lot of work to do,” added Zinnbauer.

Tonight's fixtures (all 7.30)

Swallows v Bloemfontein Celtic, Dobsonville Stadium; Maritzburg v Cape Town City, Harry Gwala Stadium; Mamelodi Sundowns v Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila, Loftus Stadium; TS Galaxy v AmaZulu, Mbombela Stadium; Golden Arrows v SuperSport United, Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium.

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