Bucs coach warns Chiefs have now improved

Zinnbauer happy the Ghost finally 'believes' in him

Sihle Ndebele Journalist
Orlando Pirates' German coach Josef Zinnbauer will take his team to the north and west of the continent as they search for continental glory.
Orlando Pirates' German coach Josef Zinnbauer will take his team to the north and west of the continent as they search for continental glory.
Image: Gerhard Duraan/BackpagePix

Orlando Pirates coach Josef Zinnbauer is certain he’s eventually won the hearts of the Buccaneer faithful, eyeing Sunday’s Soweto derby against Kaizer Chiefs at FNB Stadium to strengthen the fans’ trust in him.

A few months ago, a section of Pirates supporters was calling for Zinnbauer’s head, but as he prepares for Sunday's 100th premiership derby (kickoff at 3pm), the noise about the German’s future has since died down, thanks to his impressive record of 30 wins from his 50 game in charge of Pirates, with just six defeats and 14 stalemates.

Zinnbauer’s 60% win record is the best by any Bucs coach in their first 50 outings in the recent era.

“The supporters trust us now and they believe in us … [in me] as a coach. The first time I came here [he joined Pirates in December 2019] nobody trusted me and now we fight together. I hope what we’ve achieved is not the last achievement. We want more points going forward,’’ said Zinnbauer in a virtual media conference to preview the derby yesterday."

The 50-year-old trainer understands the magnitude of the Soweto derby. Zinnbauer has already won three derbies this season after they beat Amakhosi 3-0 and 2-0 in the two-legged MTN8 semifinals last October and November respectively, before managing a 2-1 win in the first round of the league in January. 

“This derby is a big, big game. This is not just a league game for me, it’s a special derby, one of the biggest games in the whole of Africa. Both clubs know they have to win this game,’’ noted the Buccaneers coach.

Zinnbauer reckons Chiefs have improved since their last meeting, heaping praise on “experienced” Gavin Hunt.

“Quality coach, Hunt knows exactly what’s happening in this league. He has a lot of experience in fighting for titles and overall Chiefs have improved in a big way,’’ said Zinnbauer.

After coming off the bench to net a later winner against Nigerian side Enyimba in the CAF Confed Cup on Wednesday, talented striker Tshegofatso Mabasa is odds-on to start on Sunday.

Zinnbauer confirmed goalkeeper Richard Ofori and attacker Thembinkosi Lorch were doubtful for the derby due to groin injuries.

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