Orlando Pirates coach Mandla Ncikazi has praised his side’s character after they came from behind to beat Sekhukhune United at the Orlando Stadium on Tuesday evening.
The Buccaneers ended their four-game winless run in the DStv Premiership after they came from behind to beat Sekhukhune through goals from Linda Mntambo and Kabelo Dlamini.
Ahead of the Soweto derby against Kaizer Chiefs, Pirates are placed sixth on the league table, level on 14 points with Sekhukhune in fifth place after nine matches played.
“One thing that I’ve seen as a coach is that it’s always very difficult to play against a low block,” the Buccaneers co-coach told SuperSport TV post-match.
“You need a lot of patience and they are very good with their counter-attack. Our rest defence has to be on point and I don’t think with the goal that we conceded we defended well.
“But, like you said, this has been the story of our lives. Going into the match with Maritzburg, better chances, you don’t score against Royal AM. But it’s a work in progress. As long as now we can go behind and not panic.
“I think what was important at half time is that we did not panic. We allowed the same team, same personnel in the second half. When we saw that there was no change, we changed the personnel, which I thought had a better effect.
“What I thought was encouraging was the ability to stay composed when we fell behind. Subconsciously, I thought we would start rushing which happened in one match. But I just liked the character that we saw from our team today. Work in progress.”
The Pirates mentor added that this win will give them much-needed confidence as they prepare for the much-anticipated Soweto derby against rivals Kaizer Chiefs.
“We have a lot of challenges, without making excuses I know in every team it happens,” he continued. “But in our team it’s extraordinary. You can make a list of a new team out of injuries. But God being God, every reason, predestination, we don’t know why it’s happening like it’s happening.
“I’m just happy that today it was not as bad. I’m hoping that Ndah is OK because you can see what’s happening at the back. We lost Jele, now Ndah is doubtful. But, hey, it is what it is. Let’s move to the next match. The most important match in the PSL calendar.
“I’m just happy that we won today with every adversity that we faced. Let’s look to the next one.
“The subconscious mind is very bad because when you see what has happened before you resort to a default position and we didn’t want our team to go into panic mode.
“And I think it helped us today. We continued playing the way we play. If you are possession based and you want to use possession to create chances, don’t change now because you have fallen behind. You need the patience and against a low block they are waiting for one ball. Make one mistake and they will punish you. I think we did well second half in handling them in their counter-attacks,” concluded Ncikazi.
You may also like