Cautious Zinnbauer downplays Pirates' start to the season: 'it’s not bad'

Fortune Makaringe celebrates with teammates after scoring the opening goal of the match.
Fortune Makaringe celebrates with teammates after scoring the opening goal of the match.
Image: Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

Orlando Pirates coach Josef Zinnbauer has cautiously suggested his team appear to be on track having reached the Caf Confederation Cup with a third-placed league finish last season‚ and their first cup final already in 2020-21.

The humble German refused to be drawn into saying his team are nearing what he wants from them even after a 5-0 aggregate MTN8 semifinal victory against Kaizer Chiefs was confirmed with Sunday’s 2-0 second leg win at FNB Stadium.

Zinnbauer labelled Pirates’ start to 2020-21 – where they have beaten Chiefs and Cape Town City in the MTN8‚ and drawn two and won one in the DStv Premiership – as “not the best”‚ but also “not bad”.

Pirates – who finished third in the league last season‚ qualifying for the Confed‚ after wallowing in seventh when Zinnbauer arrived in December – meet Bloemfontein Celtic in the December 12 MTN final.

“Ja‚ last season it was important that we fight for third place‚” Zinnbauer said.

“ ... But we said it before – this was a season where we improved the squad in different positions and different tactical aspects.

“And now we are in Caf. We fought for third place and got it. It was very good for us.

“And now‚ I think it’s not the best start‚ what we have done now [in 2020-21]. But it’s not bad.

“But you know it – we can [judge] nothing on this that we have done. We have to fight for the next games‚ and that’s important.

“As Orlando Pirates you fight for all games. All the clubs want to win against us‚ or Chiefs or Sundowns.

“And we are fighting now‚ we are working for this and we have been getting good results and performances. But you cannot win all games – we know this.”

“Important for us is that we improve the new players who have come in‚ and we find each other in good positioning. And then you have a chance that you can get good results.

“But‚ yes‚ the end to the last season was good‚ and the start [to this season] was not top‚ but we have a good place in the table‚ two points from the top‚ and we fight for the next games.”

With this week a Fifa international date‚ Pirates next meet SuperSport United in the league at Orlando Stadium on Saturday‚ November 21.

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