JZ delighted with Pirates’ squad depth


Orlando Pirates coach Josef Zinnbauer is delighted with players stepping into the squad to stake their claim, while admitting suspensions are now becoming a big issue.

Pirates have been forced into several changes in recent weeks with suspension blows to the likes of Thembinkosi Lorch and Vincent Pule having to sit out.

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Despite this challenge, The Buccaneers have managed to successfully navigate their way to continuing their momentum – winning four and drawing one of their last five games.

On Saturday, Zinnbauer made two changes to his side with Paseka Mako and Bongani Sam stepping in for the suspended Pule and Innocent Maela, but rather than disrupting the team the duo both played key roles in their 3-1 victory over Highlands Park at Orlando Stadium.

“Yeah, you’re right. We have a problem with picking up yellow cards and players who then can’t play,” said Zinnbauer.

“But all players work in training and as you saw, we brought in a player and he performs. We have players coming in, like Sam, who has in a long time not had a game but he comes in and gives a good performance, so I’m happy about this.

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“The same goes for Mako too, and that is the thing that is good at the moment – we have players wanting to break into the team and those that are in the team don’t want to be taken out. So, this is what is working now, and we have fun in training.

“We don’t always make it fun, but we want to have fun. We want running with the ball; we want running without the ball, but when we have results then it’s easier to work with the team.”

PICS: Bucs march on under Zinnbauer

This weekend, Bucs will entertain a struggling AmaZulu outfit at home and again they will be without defensive duo Ntsikelelo Nyauza and Abel Mabaso through suspension, but the German is optimistic of others stepping in and doing well.

“Now we have Pule coming back but Ntsiki [Nyauza] and Mabaso are out. So, we’ll have other players coming in and I hope they give their best performance, then we’ll see what the situation is in the next game afterwards,” he added.

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