Orlando Pirates coach Zinnbauer happy with Figo's contribution off the bench

24 November 2020 - 12:55 By Sazi Hadebe
Linda Mntambo has been at Orlando Pirates but is yet to command a regular starting berth. His German coach Josef Zinnbauer, however, has said Mntambo is an integral part of his plans going forward.
Linda Mntambo has been at Orlando Pirates but is yet to command a regular starting berth. His German coach Josef Zinnbauer, however, has said Mntambo is an integral part of his plans going forward.
Image: Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

Linda "Figo" Mntambo is proving to be a critical impact player for Orlando Pirates this season and the utility midfielder’s commitment to the cause has thrilled coach Josef Zinnbauer.

The gangling midfielder is both adept at defending and assisting in attack coming down the middle of the park‚ and the German coach is happy that Mntambo has delivered whenever he's called on him to influence a match.

“Figo is a player with a lot (of team) spirit‚” the Pirates coach said.

“He brings in the spirit and does what he can for the team. That’s important for us and it always depends on the position that he plays.

“Figo is a very flexible player. He can play in many positions in a game and that's important for us. In the past two weeks against [Kaizer] Chiefs he came on and scored.

“He’s good in helping us in counter-attacks and he can score. But Figo is not the only player we have in the squad with that quality.

“Maybe two weeks ago Figo was the best player for us‚ he’s a top player and has got top attitude.

"He offers us what we want in his position‚ but as I said we have more than Figo‚ we have a lot of players.”

But the 31-year-old Mntambo is still not a regular starter at Pirates three years after arriving from Chippa United.

Things appear to be looking up though as he has come off the bench and helped the team eke out some positive results this season.

The MTN8 semifinal second leg tie against Soweto arch-rivals Kaizer Chiefs will have been a highlight for Mntambo after he came on in the last 43 minutes of the match to seal a 2-0 triumph that saw Bucs win the game 5-0 on aggregate.

Mntambo has also featured in two of the Bucs’ DStv Premiership matches this season – in the opening league match against AmaZulu (1-1) and in last Saturday’s come-from-behind (2-1) victory against SuperSport United.

Zinnbauer also hinted at top striker Gabadinho Mhango coming back from injury to also challenge the likes of Zakhele Lepasa and Tshegofatso Mabasa‚ the Bucs strikers who both scored in the win against United on Saturday.

“I hope Gaba (Mhango) comes back and (Bongani) Sam is already back in training.

"They’ll have to wait to get a chance because we have so many players and that’s the kind of competition we want.

Bucs will hope to cement their position in the top half of the table when they entertain Baroka FC at the Orlando Stadium on Saturday.


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