Njabulo Ngidi
2 minute read
1 Mar 2014
7:00 am

Pirates look to future

Njabulo Ngidi

Orlando Pirates midfielder Thandani Ntshumayelo believes the club has turned things around from the struggle of going three matches without a goal to showing resilience in their progress to the Nedbank Cup's last-16.

Thandani Ntshumayelo of Orlando Pirates (Photo Gallo Images)

Thanda Royal Zulu almost caused an upset last weekend when they took a 2-0 lead in the opening round of the Nedbank Cup in Richards Bay, but the Buccaneers managed to bounce back, equalising when many thought Pirates were headed for a defeat.

They went on to win that match on penalties and then defeat Mamelodi Sundowns in their own backyard in the Absa Premiership.

New Pirates’ coach Vladimir Vermezovic, and Lehlohonolo Majoro, the club’s acquisition to bolster the strike force, couldn’t have come at a better time, Ntshumayelo argues, with the team now starting to hit their stride.

“We knew as players that we really needed to step up,” Ntshumayelo said.

“We have shown we have that within us, like when we reached the Caf Champions League final. We can’t afford to drop any points in the league now.

“The comeback against Thanda and the win over Sundowns were a turning point for us this season, to start reclaiming our place among the best clubs in this country.”

Tonight the Sea Robbers host Free State Stars in the Premiership at Orlando Stadium looking to continue with their climb up the standings. Majoro will be eligible to play in the match after he was handed the No 45 jersey, and had his first training session on Thursday. Eric Tinkler will continue to lead the club in the interim with Vermezovic taking over the reins next week.

“Majoro has been at Kaizer Chiefs, he knows the pressure that comes with playing for a big team,” Ntshumayelo said.

“He must come and deliver for us. We know what he can do. The new coach was at training on Thursday. The chairman came and introduced him to us along with Majoro.

“The new coach didn’t say a lot but to greet the players. We had a chat with him yesterday. After those back-to-back wins we are looking to continue to climb up the log. We know we can do it.”