Zinnbauer downplays talk of Pirates making a late charge for the league title

"When we have a chance I will say we’re fighting for the title"

27 January 2020 - 09:39
By Sazi Hadebe
Orlando Pirates coach Josef Zinnbauer addresses the media at Rand Stadium on January 13 2020.
Image: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix Orlando Pirates coach Josef Zinnbauer addresses the media at Rand Stadium on January 13 2020.

Resurgent Orlando Pirates might have a menacing look about them since Josef Zinnbauer took over last month but the German coach insists that the Bucs are not one of the title challengers.

Pirates have managed a run of five wins and a draw in Zinnbauer's first six league matches as coach but the mentor remains unconvinced that his side can now be considered as dark horses for the title‚ citing the gap between his side and leaders Kaizer Chiefs as reason.

“No‚” said a chuckling Zinnbauer when asked about his team’s chances in the race following Saturday’s 1-0 win against AmaZulu courtesy of a lone strike from Vincent Pule in the 52nd minute.

“We’re looking at our next games and they’ll be difficult games.

"We have three points more and I’m happy about this‚ but we can’t at the moment say we’re fighting to win the title.

“We have not so many points for this. When we have a chance I will say we’re fighting for the title.

“That’s what we want but at the moment it’s too early to speak about the title. We’re concentrating on the next game."

Vincent Pule celebrates his goal with teammates during the match.
Image: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix Vincent Pule celebrates his goal with teammates during the match.

Pirates moved from fifth place to fourth on the standings after beating AmaZulu 1-0 at Orlando Stadium and they remain 12 points behind rivals Chiefs on the log table with eleven matches to go this season.

The win was a fourth in a row at home for Zinnbauer‚ who is yet to drop a point in Orlando.

The Pirates fans have embraced the side's newfound fighting spirit since his arrival but the German insisted that talk of a late charge for the title was premature.

“You saw in the first half (on Saturday)‚ it was not what we wanted. We need time for the team‚" he said.

“We have new players in the team and they need time too. We’re not speaking about the title at the moment.

“We’re building the team‚ the squad and the systems. The penetration is not what I want and we have had four or five one against one against the goalkeeper.

“And we want to make sure that the other teams don’t get goals against us. That’s what I will be speaking about in the next days‚ weeks and months.

“I think it’s coming (the time to challenge for the title)‚ I think it’s coming and then we’ll see what it will be like next season.”