The combination of Gabadinho Mhango and Luvuyo Memela can also be credited for the turnaround of Orlando Pirates since the arrival of Josef Zinnbauer.

In the five matches since the arrival of Zinnbauer, Pirates has won four and produced a draw.

Mhango has scored eight goals in this period. And Memela has contributed three assists. After winning the Man of the Match award after the 3-1 win over Highlands Park on Saturday night, he touched on his combination with Mhango.

Despite having been able to pick up 13 out of a possible 15 points since his arrival, Zinnbauer has admitted that the players are yet to fully catch up with his tactics.

And this has been evident with their second-half performance, they led 3-0 at Orlando Stadium this past weekend at half-time but struggled in the second half.

South African U23 international Bongani Sam finally made his debut for Pirates this season in only the 18th Absa Premiership match of the season.

He played a total of 68 minutes and made a huge impression, with some injuries and suspensions starting to take its toll, Zinnbauer is using this opportunity to give other players a chance to also keep a happy dressing room.

Another player who has had a good run since the arrival of the German-born coach is number one goalkeeper Wayne Sandilands who made some crucial saves this past weekend.

In the four matches prior to Zinnbauer’s arrival, Sandilands had conceded 11 goals in four matches and in the last five matches he’s conceded only four goals. Zinnbauer says the 36-year-old is special.

A lot had been said about Pirates and how they were failing to sort out their defensive organisation during the first half of the season under caretaker coach Rhulani Mokwena.

But since Zinnbauer’s arrival, there’s been a noticeable change even though its too early to get carried away.

Memela says the defensive organisation is one area the coach prioritised from his very first training session.


Report by Velile Mnyandu