Injuries kill chemistry at Bucs, says Xoki
Pirates defender laments absence of several stars
Orlando Pirates centre-back Tapelo Xoki has bemoaned injuries that have mostly hit defenders and goalkeepers at the club in recent months, implying they have somehow killed the chemistry.
Pirates’ first-choice goalkeeper Richard Ofori is still out nursing a knee injury, while second-choice Siyabonga Mpontshane is also racing against time to be fit for Saturday’s league tie against Golden Arrows at Orlando Stadium. He missed last Saturday’s defeat to Cape Town City in the Mother City, due to an unspecified injury.
Third option keeper Sipho Chaine was in goal against City, making his debut in the 1-2 loss, which was Pirates’ third consecutive defeat.
Trusted centre-back Olisa Ndah also missed Pirates’ last two games after picking up an unspecified niggle late last year. Ndah’s usual central defensive partner Nkosinathi Sibiya has just returned from a calf injury he sustained in the MTN8 final against AmaZulu in November last year. Ndah didn’t train yesterday and is unlikely to face Arrows.
Xoki strongly believes all these injuries have put the Sea Robbers on the back foot, having lost three games in a row against Kaizer Chiefs, Mamelodi Sundowns and City respectively in the DStv Premiership.
“Injuries have been the story of our season, hence we have a big squad. Sometimes these injuries disadvantage us in terms of getting the chemistry going. You can’t control these things but we always make sure that we support whoever replaces an injured player,” Xoki said yesterday.
Xoki promised the Sea Robbers would return to winning ways when they met Abafana Bes’thende on Saturday, underlining the importance of not dwelling much on the last three games they lost.
“We know that it hasn’t been our best time of late. We look to rectify that on Saturday. We can’t cry over spilled milk because there are still games to be played. The most important thing now is to soldier on and stay positive. There’s no need for us to focus on the games we have lost,” Xoki said.
Xoki and Sibisi should again be at the heart of the Bucs defence when they take on Arrows this weekend, just as they were last weekend in the loss at City.
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