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Josef Zinnbauer urges Orlando Pirates’ strikers to take their opportunities

FILE - Orlando Pirates coach Josef Zinnbauer. Photo: Shaun Roy/BackpagePix

FILE - Orlando Pirates coach Josef Zinnbauer. Photo: Shaun Roy/BackpagePix

Published Aug 11, 2021

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CAPE TOWN – Defending MTN8 champions Orlando Pirates may have a major transfer looming, but coach Josef Zinnbauer has urged his current squad to take their opportunities in the MTN8 quarter-final tie against Swallows on Saturday.

Pirates were relatively goal shy last season in the league despite finishing in third place behind champions Mamelodi Sundowns and AmaZulu. A string of injuries to Pirates’ strike-force was an influential factor with Tshegofatso Mabasa and Zakhele Lepasa spending long periods on the sidelines.

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It was expected that Pirates would attempt to rectify this immediately in the transfer window with the addition of a high-profile striker, but this has not yet come to fruition with Pirates only adding Goodman Mosele‚ Monnapule Saleng‚ Bandile Shandu and Kwanda Mngonyama to their squad thus far.

Pirates are being heavily linked with exciting young Ghanain frontman Kwame Peprah, but Zinnbauer would not speculate on potential transfers. Instead, he is hoping his charges can now rectify their mistakes.

The “original” Soweto derby ended in two stalemates last season, but he believes the fact that the MTN8 is a knockout competition could work in Bucs’ favour.

"I think we need the goals, we had the chances in the last two games – so did Swallows but I think we were a little bit ahead in chances – but we didn't score and this is the reason we need the goals," Zinnbauer said on Wednesday.

"If we get the goals then we can win the game but [this is not to say that] Swallows made a bad performance. No, it was a good performance.

"Both games were good, the first game had a lot of water on the field, more than is typical, but in the second leg, in the away game they were ahead and we had a little bit of luck as well, you need a bit of luck of the draw.

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"We have another chance and if we have chances then I'm happy, but I will be happier if we get the goals and win the game.

"This is not a league game, though. This is a game that you have to win. We cannot say now that we can draw, it is not possible, we have to go forward and we have to win the game. It is a different game."

Swallows are undoubtedly “the draw kings” of the Dstv Premiership, having been involved in 20 deadlocks last season. It will be noteworthy, though, to see whether all their new players – Swallows have 13 new signings – are able to settle into coach Brendon Truter’s system before Saturday’s clash.

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“They have a lot of new players. It's pre-season now starting with the MTN8 ahead of the league. The coach will have an idea of a starting line-up but he has a lot of new players. I think it is a little bit open in regards to the starting line-up. The players know how they can come against us,” Zinnbauer said.

“It is always good to have a good start. We won the title (last year). It was a good feeling for us. We know other teams also fight for games. They have a strong team. They have a good squad this season.”

@ZaahierAdams

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