Pirates coach Zinnbauer: No fluke that Swallows are flying high

Orlando Pirates' German coach Josef Zinnbauer will be fully aware that the club's fans are yearning for a Premiership title.
Orlando Pirates' German coach Josef Zinnbauer will be fully aware that the club's fans are yearning for a Premiership title.
Image: Gerhard Duraan/BackpagePix

It is no fluke that Swallows FC have lost just one game in the 2020-21 DStv Premiership‚ Orlando Pirates coach Josef Zinnbauer has said of his team’s Soweto derby opponents at Dobsonville Stadium on Saturday.

Zinnbauer said the promoted Birds’ remarkable record comes from having a strong combination with good spirit who fight for every result.

Pirates and Brandon Truter’s tough Birds meet in a derby (kickoff 5pm) with the potential to affect both teams’ remain outside chances of a title challenge‚ or at least to finish in second place for Caf Champions League qualification.

Promoted Swallows have had a remarkable return to the Premiership‚ losing once‚ even if their lone defeat and a spate of 11 draws in their last 13 matches has seen them slip to fifth place.

For fourth-placed Pirates‚ nine points behind leaders Mamelodi Sundowns‚ a win against their oldest enemy seems essential to preserve any outside chance of remaining in contention for the title‚ as much as that objective now seems an increasingly distant one.

Zinnbauer was asked what has made Swallows so hard to beat in 2020-21.

“Look on the field at which players they have‚” he chuckled. “On the field it’s not a second-tier team – it’s a first-tier team‚ and in their positions too.

“Yes‚ it’s always so that if you come with a good mood‚ a good team and a good structure into a new league then you always have those one or two teams in a league who fly.

“But Swallows have earned this. They have really done a good job. And especially in the offence they always find a solution.

“And you saw the results. They don’t have a lot of defeats. They always come back in games‚ they fight for every metre. That’s the reason for their record.”

Sundowns seemed to deal the death blow to Bucs’ title chances with the 4-1 destruction at Loftus Versfeld last Thursday. Pirates‚ who showed signs of fatigue drawing 0-0 against Algeria’s ES Setif in the Caf Confederation Cup at Orlando Stadium on Wednesday‚ will aim to bounce back into contention beating Swallows.

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