No chill days during Fifa break, says upset Zinnbauer

No rest for Buccaneers after derby loss

Sihle Ndebele Journalist
Fortune Makaringe of Orlando Pirates challenged by Samir Nurkovic (l) and Darrel Matsheke of Kaizer Chiefs during the DStv Premiership match between Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates at FNB Stadium on March 21, 2021 in Johannesburg.
Fortune Makaringe of Orlando Pirates challenged by Samir Nurkovic (l) and Darrel Matsheke of Kaizer Chiefs during the DStv Premiership match between Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates at FNB Stadium on March 21, 2021 in Johannesburg.
Image: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix/Gallo Images

As a result of losing Sunday’s Soweto derby to Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates players will not get even a single day off in the current Fifa break.

This was revealed by an “upset” Pirates mentor Josef Zinnbauer in his post match media conference on Sunday. The German didn’t hide the initial plan was to give players some rest after the derby, however, that will never happen since they lost 1-0, thanks to Samir Nurkovic’s spectacular strike.

“The target was to win the game and get maybe one or two extra days of resting. But now it’s not possible. I am really upset. We can’t rest now, we have to work," said Zinnbauer.

Thulani Hlatshwayo, Innocent Maela, Ben Motshwari, Vincent Pule (all Bafana Bafana), Deon Hotto of Namibia and Gabadinho Mhango (Malawi) are the only Bucs players who’ll be on international duty in the current Fifa hiatus.

Giving his assessment of the game, Zinnbauer interestingly claimed Amakhosi "parked the bus" on Sunday, saying he was so shocked to see them deploying an ultra-defensive approach while it was their home match.

“I don’t know what they had as a game-plan, but we had our plan. I was a little bit surprised about the low-block… it’s a home game, you play deep. It was so unexpected," noted Zinnbauer.

Many questioned Zinnbauer’s tactics of starting with a false striker in Hotto while his natural strikers Tshegofatso Mabasa and Mhango started on the bench. The Pirates coach gave an impression his natural strikers are not yet up to speed to play more minutes.

“We have players back [from injuries] but [they are] not [ready] to play ninety minutes," noted Zinnbauer, when asked why he didn’t start the derby with at least one of his strikers in Mabasa and Mhango.

After 21 outings, fourth-placed Buccaneers are now on 35 points, five behind leaders Mamelodi Sundowns, who’ve played three matches fewer than them in the DStv Premiership.

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