Zinnbauer shows signs of frustration as Orlando Pirates continue to stutter

Josef Zinnbauer (coach, pictured on the right) and Thandi Merafe of Orlando Pirates during the team's virtual press conference.
Josef Zinnbauer (coach, pictured on the right) and Thandi Merafe of Orlando Pirates during the team's virtual press conference.
Image: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images

Orlando Pirates coach Josef Zinnbauer allowed himself to express his frustration that his team could not apply the tactics in the first half that he said they had planned for in Bucs’ 1-1 DStv Premiership draw against Stellenbosch FC on Wednesday night.

The Pirates juggernaut and its array of big-name new signings continues to stutter early in the season‚ following a 1-1 opening league draw against AmaZulu in Durban with another stalemate against Steve Barker’s tough Stellenbosch at Orlando Stadium.

Bucs‚ who meet Kaizer Chiefs in Saturday’s first leg of their Soweto derby MTN8 semi-final at Orlando‚ were disjointed in the first half‚ but improved markedly in the second‚ where they were unable to profit from a string of solid chances.

A 1-0 MTN8 win against 10-man Cape Town City in Bucs’ season-opener was also not overly convincing. Zinnbauer was asked how he fells abut the murmurs of discontent from Pirates fans that‚ having now had a two-week mini-preseason‚ and a lot of signings‚ Bucs should have at least won one of their two league games.

“Ja‚ I think not only the supporters‚ we expected three points in a home game. That’s normal. As Orlando Pirates we want three points in all the games‚” the coach said.

“Today we went into the game wanting the three points. And at home it’s always so. We know it’s not always possible. But when you see the second half you know it was easily possible [tonight].

“But when you see the first half‚ then it’s not enough for one point. And those are the things we have to change.

“The opponent made us vulnerable in the first half‚ but we found nothing in the structure that we had in the plan.

“We improved a structure the whole week for the opponent‚ and then it’s not working on the pitch.

“And then you give a new input‚ you change the system a little bit‚ change the players a little bit‚ and then it’s running.

“That’s the key that we have to find earlier. That is not magic. It’s normally easy in football.

“But we know it’s not easy that you can win all your games. And I heard the other results‚ and they maybe all teams struggle a bit at the moment.

“But we cannot compare with other clubs. We have to see to us. We need three points‚ and that’s the point that we have to work on quick.”

With so many new players‚ finding the right combinations can take time. An example would seem to be Deon Hotto‚ who so far has been deployed at left-back‚ left wing and on Wednesday night in midfield‚ when at Bidvest Wits the Namibian was generally more a forward.

Zinnbauer again said getting all the new players to the same level of conditioning as his existing squad is proving as challenging as finding the right combinations.

“Yes‚ sure we have to find the roles in the game for the new players. That’s normal‚” he said.

“We have the qualities for the players‚ but more important is the conditioning. It’s very important that we improve this better.

“A lot of players came to us with injuries‚ and we can work on their conditioning.”

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