Four wins against Chiefs: Pirates coach Zinnbauer cautions against counting chickens

19 March 2021 - 14:12
By Sazi Hadebe
Orlando Pirates coach Josef Zinnbauer will be pleased with a clean sheet.
Image: Sydney Mahlangu/BackPagePix/Gallo Images Orlando Pirates coach Josef Zinnbauer will be pleased with a clean sheet.

Orlando Pirates coach Josef Zinnbauer has avoided bragging about the potential of becoming the first Bucs coach in the Premier Soccer League era to win four Soweto derbies against rivals Kaizer Chiefs.

The German coach‚ who joined Bucs in December 2019‚ will win his fourth successive match against Chiefs if Bucs take all three points in a DStv Premiership clash at the FNB Stadium on Sunday.

Bucs have already beaten Chiefs twice in the MTN8 semifinals this season (5-0 on aggregate) and 2-1 in a league match in January‚ scoring a whopping seven goals to one conceded.

The 50-year-old Zinnbauer downplayed such statistics when he was asked what it will mean to him if he wins Sunday’s match. However, he did acknowledge that such positive stats can play a role in a coach earning the confidence of a big club’s supporters.

“First we have to win the game‚” said the coach‚ who has been in charge of 50 games‚ winning 30‚ drawing 14 and losing six since he joined the club.

“This is important to me if I win four in a row. Yes‚ I’m happy about it but we work a lot on ourselves. I don’t speak about four wins in a row. We have to play this game and we have to focus on this game.

“It will be good for the supporters. It’s the 100th [league] derby but for me as a coach you aim to get three points in this game. I know it will be a hard game for us against top opponents‚ a top club‚ and we have to focus on this.

“I saw the statistic and I’m happy about it but it’s not my work alone. I have Fadlu [Davids‚ Zinnbauer’s assistant] and all the other technical team members including fitness coaches.

“This comes from the work of all of these guys‚ the management‚ the chairman [Irvin Khoza]. All of us are working on these results.

“They also deserve this statistic. It’s not just me alone. I have to thank all these guys and especially the squad.

“The team take the points‚ they fight for the points and they come back when we’ve had a bad game. When we lose a game they come into the next game and bring us a win.

“That’s the kind of teamwork we need for a side like this.

“As a coach I know that‚ especially in clubs like Pirates or big clubs in any country‚ it’s not easy when everyone is against you‚” he said.

“We now have these statistics. I can’t forget the first time I came here  and nobody trusted me. But now we fight together‚ we fight and work for all these results.

“I hope this is not the end because as we go forward we need more points. For me this gives more motivation as we go forward.”

Pirates will start Sunday’s game as favourites after winning three‚ drawing one and losing one in their last five league matches‚ while Chiefs are just eight points from bottom club Black Leopards after losing two and drawing three in their last five.

Pirates goalkeeper Richard Ofori and attacking midfielder Thembinkosi Lorch are doubtful for Sunday’s game as they are still battling injuries.