Zinnbauer plays down possibility of winning Ke Yona cup

Bucs to rely on Hotto's influence against Sundowns

Sihle Ndebele Journalist
Deon Hotto of Orlando Pirates during the 2021 CAF Confederation Cup match between Orlando Pirates and Ahly Benghazi on the 11 April 2021 at Orlando Stadium.
Deon Hotto of Orlando Pirates during the 2021 CAF Confederation Cup match between Orlando Pirates and Ahly Benghazi on the 11 April 2021 at Orlando Stadium.
Image: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

Another extra spice to this evening’s Nedbank Cup quarterfinal showdown between Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates at Loftus Versfeld is that both teams have Namibians as their dynamos in Peter Shalulile and Deon Hotto respectively.

This eagerly awaited clash kicks off at 6pm. Given their blistering form for their respective clubs, all eyes will be on Shalulile and Hotto. The 27-year-old Shalulile has scored an impressive 14 goals, racking-up six assists from 26 games on all fronts. No Sundowns player has scored more goals than Shalulile in all competitions this season.

Conversely, Hotto has managed seven goals and nine assists in 32 games, across all competitions. These brilliant stats make the 30-year-old Hotto Pirates’ leading goal-scorer in all competitions this term.

Pirates coach Josef Zinnbauer has conceded that Hotto is their most instrumental player. However, the German still stressed the importance of playing as a collective if they're to reach greater heights.

“Hotto influences the team very well. He can play different positions. Now he has a new position… he’s a striker now. When you look at our previous games in the MTN8, in the league, in the Confed Cup and even in this Nedbank Cup, you see the assists he has,’’ said Zinnbauer.

“Hotto is always involved when we score. We're very happy that we have a player like him. But you need the entire team to win games. If you don’t play as a team you won’t go anywhere… there’ll be no positive performances for individuals like Hotto if you do not play as a team.’’

In what sounded more like mind-games, Zinnbauer maintained Sundowns have an edge over them. The Bucs mentor went on to insinuate that to expect him to win the Ke Yona title was unrealistic, seeing Downs as a big hurdle.

“We know we have a good squad…we have players who can win titles. But we are honest, we are playing against the best team in the country at the moment,’’ said Zinnbauer.

“This is not so easy to manage for journalists or supporters or people outside. I walk on the street and people say‚ ‘you've to win the Nedbank’. Yes‚ I'd happy if we win the Nedbank, but it’s a long way to go and we’re playing against Sundowns.’’

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