Ncikazi claims Pirates fatigued by CAF commitments


Orlando Pirates co-coach Mandla Ncikazi claims his side were hampered by CAF commitments in their Soweto derby defeat to Kaizer Chiefs.

Pirates are without a win in the DStv Premiership this year following two draws and one defeat which has left them 19 points behind leaders Mamelodi Sundowns.

Their next assignment is a trip to Polokwane for a Nedbank Cup last 16 clash against Marumo Gallants at the Peter Mokaba on Wednesday. Before hosting Eswatini club Royal Leopards at Orlando Stadium in the CAF Confederation Cup.

"Unfortunately, blessings and burdens are cousins," says Ncikazi in seeking to explain their situation using words familiar with Steve Komphela, with who he worked previously.

"The fact that Pirates are involved in CAF is a burden if you look at the match that we played today. We played on Sunday then Wednesday and today (Saturday).

"For Kaizer Chiefs who are not involved in CAF, they played on Saturday and then again on Saturday today. Without complaining the fact that we are involved in CAF makes the load a bit bigger. If you were to exclude Sundowns, who have a way of doing things in CAF which we should learn from, all other teams like AmaZulu are burdened by the fixture.

"It does bring this imbalance in the team but teams that are only concentrating on the PSL have an opportunity to be fresh and better.

"Like I said it is blessings and burdens. As a big team, you must be able to play in CAF, play in the PSL, and then play in the Nedbank on Wednesday with the same squad. So, we just have to manage the situation and be better.

"If we are a big team or want to be a big team these are situations that we will always be faced with," says Ncikazi.

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