Ncikazi: Let's not be slow learners


Orlando Pirates co-head coach Mandla Ncikazi was disappointed that the Buccaneers were unable to build on their first-half display against Cape Town City.

Pirates opened the scoring through Happy Jele's header in the 14th but had a different second stanza, where Mduduzi Mdantsane equalised for City early in the second stanza after they were awarded a penalty.

"Two different performances from the same team, the first-half we dominated. I thought we played the way we planned play," Ncikazi told SuperSport TV

"Credit to the opponent, I think they changed after the forced substitution of [Nathan] Fasika, I think they changed their formation.

"When we went to halftime, we expected two things, a change of personnel and a change of formation. I don't think we adapted well to the way they changed second-half.

"We kept on dropping the line of confrontation backwards, which is not what we planned. I just wish the team that played first-half continued to play second-half but it didn't happen in our team. Disappointed with the result.

"I just wish first-half we scored when we had the dominance, I wish we had scored maybe we would have a different response right now.

"We wanted to press as high as possible, I thought we are one team, according to the stats, that has got a high percentage of successful press when we hire a press, that's an indication we wanted to continue there.

"But I thought one mistake that we did, we never stayed on the line of confrontation that we planned, maybe because of a change of formation of the opponent. But I thought we never exerted ourselves fully in the positions that we wanted to press and then you get problems that surfaced after that, that was the outcome."

Ncikazi went further to explain that they wanted to nullify the threat posed by left wing-back Terrence Mashego, which was a big part of their game plan.

"From the previous match that they played against Swallows you could see the effectiveness of [Terrence] Mashego, they are playing a three-man defence, we wanted to cater for that," he said.

"Mashego's got very less responsibility defensively, so we wanted the space behind him. I thought we kept him quiet a bit first-half but second-half not the same team, just my disappointment is on that. I wish we continued with the same team that played first-half. But it's work in progress, let's use the first-half as a measure of our team going forward.

"Pirates must win all matches, that's the expectation, I'm just disappointed we did not do what we planned, we're far off the objectives that we made for ourselves but it's a lesson, it's not a loss.

"Let's learn quickly though, let's not be slow learners and try change the result. This team deserves more than what we're giving," he added.