‘Bucs need to get the engine going’


Pirates might be top of the Absa Premiership table at present, but it has not been smooth sailing since the start of the season at all.

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There was plenty of hype around The Buccaneers’ potential following their magnificent turnaround last season under coach Milutin Sredojevic and his assistant Rhulani Mokwena.

After finishing a lowly 13th in the 2016/17 campaign, they managed to go the distance in the title race as they were closely beaten by Mamelodi Sundowns in the final few games last season.

Their stuttering start is nothing to worry about, according to Mabalane, who believes the work of newly appointed finishing coach Stéphane Adam is slowly beginning to bear fruit, while chemistry amongst the players is also on the up.

“I think now Pirates have got the right players, they bought the right quality of players. They’ve always had a huge squad but not the right mixture of quality players,” Mabalane tells KickOff.com.

“Now they have the calibre of players that can actually rise up to the standards required of Pirates, and I think they are getting there.

“The only problem is that Pirates are not clinical. In as much as they have the finishing coach, it’s taking them longer than anticipated. But one thing for sure is that they are starting to score goals, albeit at a slow rate.

“It’s a process, I know, they just have to get that synergy and chemistry amongst the players going because the coaches can only do so much.”

READ: Bucs welcome September progress

With a mixture of quality and experience having been brought in during the recent transfer window, ‘Terminator’ also believes the combination of 'Micho' and Mokwena is fit to take the club forward.

“I think they’ve also got the perfect personnel on the bench in Micho and Rhulani, who has also brought something into the team that they needed,” he adds.

“You’ve now got the combination of international expertise and experience in someone who has coached at the highest level (Sredojevic) and someone who’s also knowledgeable, qualified and local – for me that combination is vital at Pirates.

“I think that’s what’s going to bring the change at Pirates, the only question is when will it happen? Of course, the sooner the better, but it’s been a while since the club has been in a position like this in terms of their technical and playing personnel. 

“They’ve got it on point right now, they just need it to work and get that engine going.”

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