“We created enough, arrived in the final third enough. We got into the red zone enough, but it wasn’t to be,” said Rhulani Mokwena about Pirates’ draw with Arrows. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Rhulani Mokwena cut a frustrated figure after watching his Orlando Pirates team being unable to break down Golden Arrows on Wednesday night.

The Buccaneers extended their winless run to six matches with the goalless draw at Orlando Stadium, and left Mokwena still scratching his head as he tries to find a solution to Pirates’ attacking woes.

The new coach, who took over from Milutin Sredojevic just a few weeks ago, has yet to taste victory after three draws and a defeat.

Pirates again failed to really trouble the Arrows defence on Wednesday, with the best scoring opportunity falling to left back Innocent Maela.

The Bafana defender connected with a header from a Gabadinho Mhango corner, but could only find the woodwork.

In fact, Nduduzo Sibiya had two opportunities to snatch the three points for Steve Komphela’s Arrows team, but he also couldn’t hit the target.

“Another difficult one against a well coached side that’s got a very awkward structure, and a structure that is very difficult to manage in both key phases of the game,” Mokwena said on the Pirates Twitter page on Thursday.

“But, it wasn’t to be. We created enough, arrived in the final third enough. We got into the red zone enough, but it wasn’t to be.

“It’s still an issue of confidence, but we will keep on working, keep on grinding away to try and get that positive result.”

In the post-match TV interview on SuperSport, Mokwena added: “Celtic are very fluid in how they move from one phase to another. They tried to be very aggressive with their strikers, to pull them into wide areas so that manipulate and try to give a little problems to our lateral centre-halves.

“Happy was brave, Nyauza was brave, Maela was brave – they went one-on-one in certain moments to try and give the team stability. And that’s all you can ask from the players.

“It’s a brave Pirates that’s learning on what it takes to be winners and to be champions. You just have to go back and work even harder, and ask ‘What is God teaching me?’ – and at this moment, I think the biggest thing is patience.

“(Goals) are eluding us – we are hitting the crossbar every day. But it will come. This is the same squad of players who challenged for the title last season, who pushed Sundowns all the way.”

Pirates are now languishing in 10th position on the Premiership log, and Mokwena said fixing the players’ confidence is going to be the priority during the MTN8 semi-finals and Fifa international break.

The Soweto giants will be back on the pitch on 21 September against Wits away.


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