Orlando Pirates head coach Josef Zinnbauer says Gabadinho Mhango and Tshegofatso Mabasa both need a bit more time before they will be back to full throttle in an Orlando Pirates shirt.
The Buccaneers begin their Caf Confederation Cup Group A campaign against ES Setif on Wednesday, and are in fine fettle, both in terms of form, and an increasing amount of players back from injury.
One could think Zinnbauer will be having selection headaches, especially with his strikers Mabasa and Mhango returning to the team, with while the likes of Deon Hotto and Vincent Pule continue to do a good job. However, the German born coach sees this as a positive thing and says it will be good for the players to fight for the starting berth.
“I had headaches in the past weeks without strikers, it was more of a headache for me. But now you see Mabasa and Gaba need more time (to get back to full fitness). You can see with Gaba that he works very well, but it is not the old Gaba that we had before,” said the Bucs mentor, after both came off the bench against Chippa United.
“But I’m happy about this (their return), it’s not going to be a headache for me with players coming back. We are going forward and we have to fight, so it’s always good for us when we have competition in the squad.”
Pirates’ performance in the 3-0 win over Chippa was excellent, contrasting with their rather laboured display against Bloemfontein Celtic last week. Zinnbauer, however, is pragmatic and knows his side cannot play out of their skin in every game.
“The situation in football always changes, we know this as coaches and maybe you also as journalists. You can’t just snap your fingers and the performance is very good, it’s always changing. Last time we played against a 10-man team (Celtic) and I got frustrated because we got more chances to score. It was not a top performance but we got the result, it’s important for a coach.. When we have the result we don’t have a problem,” Zinnbauer concluded.
And with Pirates on a run of eight games unbeaten in all competitions, Pirates are certainly getting the results right now.