Orlando Pirates co-coach Mandla Ncikazi insists the Buccaneers are just as big as Mamelodi Sundowns but have more support, adding that the team have been set back by injuries and changes in leadership.
Pirates beat Liberian side LPRC Oilers 2-0 in the first leg of the Caf Confederation Cup playoffs this past Sunday and, after the match, Ncikazi insisted Pirates are on a par with Downs size-wise.
“There’s improvement. It’s important that we’ve got momentum now. Pirates are a big team. You’re expected to win in every match. We’re on the level of Sundowns but we even have more support than them,’’ said Ncikazi.
The Pirates coach went on to explain why his team failed to hit the same lofty heights as Downs in recent seasons, singling out a lengthy injury list and changes in leadership as reasons for their struggles.
“So, given our level, we’re not achieving but we understand the process because we have new leadership [referring to himself and co-coach Fadlu Davids] and a lot of players have been sidelined by injuries. But, now I think, we’re on the right track towards achieving big things,’’ he concluded.
Pirates are next in action against Baroka in a league match on Thursday before turning their attention to the second leg tie against LPRC Oilers at Orlando Stadium on Sunday.
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