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Pirates coach Mandla Ncikazi worried about their finishing ahead of Soweto derby

03 November 2021 - 12:01
Mandla Ncikazi wants his players to be at their best during the Soweto derby.
Mandla Ncikazi wants his players to be at their best during the Soweto derby.
Image: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

Orlando Pirates co-coach Mandla Ncikazi is worried about his team’s conversion rate going into the Soweto derby against Kaizer Chiefs at FNB Stadium on Saturday.

Pirates, who came from a goal down to beat Sekhukhune United 2-1 on Tuesday, have scored 10 league goals in nine matches this seas5on, and Ncikazi said they should have scored more.

During their last five matches, where they have drawn three, won one and drew the other match, Pirates only managed to score four goals, and that is worrying Ncikazi.

In Chiefs, the Buccaneers are up against a team that has been improving their defence as Amakhosi have only conceded two goals in their last five league matches.

“We are struggling a bit in the attacking third, we are creating chances but what is left is putting the ball in the net,” he said.

“If you check all the matches we have played, how many chances have we created and didn’t take but we are work in progress. I am 80% satisfied but a coach is never satisfied.

“I  want us to create chances because with a score line like 2-1 against Sekhukhune, anything could have happened. It is 2-2 and it is a disaster. I am happy we went a goal down and we did not panic.

“We still created chances but we want to be creative with the ball, we want to outmuscle opponents, we want to outsmart opponents and if we say we are that team we should do that. Take our chances, which is not what we are doing at the moment to the best of our ability.”

Looking ahead of the derby, Ncikazi wants his charges to be ruthless in front of goal and move a few places up on the ladder.

“I am happy we won against Sekhukhune, but you know in matches like the derby there is no form but it depends on what happens on the day of the match.

“I am happy we are playing with a bit of confidence and belief but in this match there is no form. It will depend on what happens on the day of the match and I am hoping  we will play well and with confidence to get the results against a formidable side like Kaizer Chiefs.”

Reflecting on the crucial win over Sekhukhune, Ncikazi said they made things difficult for themselves.

“We made it difficult for ourselves. Uust take your chances Pirates. This is not the only match. Against Maritzburg United we created better chances. It was the same story against Royal AM and Sekhukhune.

“I think the score line was not a true reflection of the match based on the number of chances we created. We had about five to six chances and we should have scored.

“Having said that, I am happy we won and coming from behind but we gave them a goal,  just like we did against Royal AM.

“I am not satisfied. When we started having this opportunity to coach Pirates we worked on stages of intensity, football fitness. When we were satisfied in that zone, we went into keeping the ball as a tool to attack opponents.”