Ncikazi vows to stick to winning combination

Thumping of Chippa sets blueprint for Pirates

Sihle Ndebele Journalist
Kwame Peprah of Orlando Pirates and Sandile Mthethwa of Chippa Unitedduring the DStv Premiership 2021/22 game between Chippa United and Orlando Pirates at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Gqeberha on 18 September 2021.
Kwame Peprah of Orlando Pirates and Sandile Mthethwa of Chippa Unitedduring the DStv Premiership 2021/22 game between Chippa United and Orlando Pirates at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Gqeberha on 18 September 2021.
Image: BackpagePix

Orlando Pirates players who didn’t start in the 3-1 thumping of Chippa United at the weekend will find it difficult to break into the starting 11, unless the ones who started get injured.

This is the suggestion of the club’s mentor Mandla Ncikazi.

Pirates came from a goal down to claim maximum points at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, courtesy of goals from Tshegofatso Mabasa, Abel Mabaso and Goodman Mosele. The hosts had taken the lead via Phakamani Mahlambi early in the first half.

“It’s important to have a consistent 11. Teams that win championships have a consistent 11. If it’s possible and there are no injuries, we’d love to keep the same team going forward,” said Ncikazi.

“We want to be consistent but sometimes injuries force us into situations that we don’t want to be in. Pirates have been very unlucky with injuries lately.”

Ncikazi was also delighted to see Mabasa getting on the score sheet for the second game in a row, having netted the solitary goal that saw them beat Swallows the previous weekend. The Buccaneers coach disclosed the striker will start the next outing, which is against Mamelodi Sundowns, at home on Saturday.

“I am happy for Mabasa for playing two games and scoring in both games. More is to come from him. Without jumping the gun, I think he should start the next match,’’ said Ncikazi.

Ncikazi feels their game against Chippa reflected on the progress they’ve been making, praising his charges for their fighting spirit. The Pirates trainer said it all started from training.

“There’s growth in the team. It is very minimal in the eyes of the other people but in our eyes it's growth. The match is a mirror of training. What I saw today, especially the fighting spirit, I had seen at training midweek. We prophesied that if the team is this united, we will win.”

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