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Zinnbauer tries to make sense of Pirates’ blunt display against Arrows: ‘Difficult‚ yes‚ bad result’

Orlando Pirates coach Josef Zinnbauer acknowledged his team’s flat first-half performance‚ and said missed chances and soft goals conceded also contributed to their 2-0 DStv Premiership defeat to Lamontville Golden Arrows in Durban on Tuesday evening.

Bucs’ inconsistent form continued as they suffered a third league defeat from their last nine matches at Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium against a tight Arrows‚ a period in which they have won just three games and drawn three.

The biggest missed chance for Pirates came 13 minutes from the restart when Thembinkosi Lorch blasted a penalty over the bar with a chance to equalise Pule Mmodi’s 40th-minute opener‚ and leave Bucs time to even push for a win. Instead‚ almost inevitably‚ Mmodi added his second in the 67th.

Zinnbauer‚ though‚ recognised his team‚ coming off a 2-1 Soweto derby win against Kaizer Chiefs on Saturday‚ had been out-performed in the first half‚ and that they need to play for 90 minutes if they are to achieve results more consistently.

“Difficult‚ yes‚ bad result‚” Bucs’ coach said afterwards.

“The performance in the first half was not enough that you can be in the game. In the second half‚ yes‚ it [the performance] was then more.

“But we have the problem that we don’t score at the moment. You saw the penalty‚ and we didn’t score from it‚ and the other chances also.

“But it’s not enough for us. We have to work from the first second up to the end of the game. You see the opponents‚ and they always work against us.

“And we have to understand that we have to work more – like we did in the second half.”

The coach could not put his finger on his team’s flatness in the opening half‚ though critics have questioned the four changes‚ and a switch to a 3-5-1-1 system‚ made from a winning combination on the weekend.

“I think it’s not an energy problem. In the first half we started well‚ we came close to goal‚” Zinnbauer said.

“Then we had a problem – [Bongani] Sam was not in and you saw [Paseka] Mako took the [left-back] role from Sam. But we changed the system in the second half‚ and then it was a better game for us.

“But we had the opportunities. Not enough for this game‚ but we had them. But we don’t score in the moment‚ and if you don’t score you cannot win.

“And then the goals that we conceded were too easy. But the players want it‚ and they don’t have the luck at the moment for themselves and for the team.”

Given Pirates’ big off-season signings‚ and that Zinnbauer had six months to build arriving in December of last season‚ the pressure might be mounting on the coach as a strong squad wallows in fifth place in the Premiership.

Probably a fair amount of breathing space was bought for the coach by winning the Buccaneers’ first trophy in six years in the MTN8 in December.

Bucs turn their attention to the Covid-19-affected 2020-21 season’s only other knockout competition when they meet GladAfrica Championship outfit Uthongathi in the Nedbank Cup last-32 at Orlando Stadium on Saturday.

– TimesLIVE

Source: ARENA Holdings.