Orlando Pirates continue to play enterprising football but their lack of goals appears to be taking a toll on Gabadinho Mhango, whose frustrations were visible during their goalless draw against Bidvest Wits.
JOHANNESBURG – Four matches in a row with no goals scored. Someone must have got the script wrong that the team with one of the most lethal striking contingents and the Premiership’s top goalscorer is yet to find the back of the net.
But such has been the turbulent times that have hung over Orlando Pirates since the halt and resumption of the league season that they are yet to bag a win, even though they have the league’s top marksman Gabadinho Mhango on 14 goals.
In these last four matches, the Buccaneers have managed three draws and a loss, which has somewhat dented their hopes of making a challenge for the league title after their impressive run of form following the arrival of coach Josef Zinnbauer.
In the German’s first 11 matches he won seven, drew three and lost one. But things haven’t gone according to the script of late.
Pirates continue to play enterprising football but their lack of goals appears to be taking a toll on Mhango, whose frustrations were visible during their goalless draw on Saturday night against Bidvest Wits as he shoved Cole Alexander after a failed duel.
Zinnbauer says he’s aware of the tough time his best player is going through at the moment.
“It has not been easy. As a striker you need self confidence and trust from your trainer, who’s the coach. On the bench, we have a good striker or two. It’s not easy but he scored in the first games and now he’s probably thinking too much,” Zinnbauer said.
In their next assignment tomorrow (6pm kick-off), the Sea Robbers will welcome relegation threatened Baroka FC to Ellis Park with Mhango hoping to get back to his scoring ways, considering his lead at the top was trimmed to a goal over the weekend.
Chiefs striker Samir Nurkovic scored his 13th league goal of the season after helping his team to a 3-2 come-from-behind win over Polokwane City, while Peter Shalulile also got his 13th strike for Highlands Park during his team’s 1-1 draw with Mamelodi Sundowns on Friday.
But Zinnbauer says they are still backing Mhango as their designated No 9.
“We’ll give him our trust because he needs it. But I don’t know what will happen in our next games. We have a rest of two days and it’s not a long time.
“We’ll have to see whether he needs a break or the next chance. I don’t know,” Zinnbauer explained.
Pirates may still be part of the chasing pack, within reach of a spot in continental football next season, but their 50-year-old coach says all the teams in the top six still have a chance to finish in the top three as well, so it’s better to set targets when they start winning matches.