Soweto derby 'comes at the right time' for sluggish Orlando Pirates, reckons Josef Zinnbauer

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Josef Zinnbauer (Gallo Images)
Josef Zinnbauer (Gallo Images)

Orlando Pirates head coach Josef Zinnbauer believes the Soweto derby MTN8 semi finals first leg clash against Kaizer Chiefs "comes at the right time" for his side.

MUST READ | Gavin Hunt tips Soweto derby opponents Orlando Pirates as favourites for league title

The Buccaneers have endured a slow start to the season despite having won their first match of the 2020/21 campaign against Cape Town City by a slender 1-0 victory in the MTN8 quarter final.

Thereafter, in the Dstv Premiership, the Soweto giants were held to a draw against AmaZulu and Stellenbosch in past four days.

During Wednesday night's post match interview after Stellies held the Buccaneers to a 1-1 draw, Zinnbauer was puzzled by his sides performance. 

"I'm not happy with the first half. But we demonstrated what's possible in the second half, what we can do," Zinnbauer said.

"This is something I don't understand. First half, not playing, no build-up, no defensive structure. And then in the second half, you see all that we can do.

"What we have to do in 90 minutes, you get the answer in the second half. It's not possible you can play 45 minutes with such a performance and get three points. These are the things we have to change.

"I say it again... first half, I don't understand this football we played and then in the second half... But it was not enough for three points.

"As a coach I don't understand."

The German tactician now reckons the Soweto derby will bring about a different aura within the ranks of his team as they shift their focus to Saturday's mouth-watering encounter.

It will also be Gavin Hunt's first match Soweto derby as head coach of Amakhosi and Zinnbauer is looking for going up against the former Bidvest Wits mentor.   

"I agree with you. The (Soweto derby) game comes at the right time. A derby is always a special game," Zinnbauer told the media on Thursday.

"We know Kaizer Chiefs has a strong team, a good team and good quality in the squad. They have a top coach; he has a lot of experience in winning titles in this country.

"He led, last year, a top team (Wits) and he fought last season also for a title. For our team, for the derby, we have nothing to lose."

Kick-off is at 15:00 on Saturday at Orlando Stadium.

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