Orlando Pirates coach Josef Zinnbauer says he will select the strongest possible squad when they welcome Jwaneng Galaxy in the second leg of the play-off round of the CAF Confederation Cup at the Orlando Stadium on Sunday. Pirates will go into this match with a massive advantage after a 3-0 victory in Botswana in the first leg.
Pirates are coming from an away confidence booster win. However, it was always going to be important for Pirates to score and avoid conceding goals.
The Botswana-based team is an offensive side but when they go forward, they will open themselves up to attack by Pirates.
Despite that, Zinnbauer says they need to start stronger.
“We have to see now this week which player is available; which player is fresh; which player needs the break; which player needs the games. That’s important but we need a strong team. We cannot go in this game and say we had a good result in the last game; no. We have to go with a strong team in this game and we need a good result. We need to go to the next round. So, we fight for this next round and go to the next group if it’s possible. We have to fight for this.”
Pirates had a relatively easy passage in January when they took on Sagrada Esperanca in the CAF Confederation Cup. The Angolan-based side withdrew from their first-round second leg encounter, citing fears over a new variant of COVID-19 in South Africa.
However, Pirates never lost focus; they kept on pushing and winning all their matches.
Pirates captain, Happy Jele, is the longest-serving player in the team. He led the team to the final of the Confederation Cup in 2015 and says the goal is to go all the way.
“Pirates is a big team; they compete for each and every cup that comes, you know. Obviously, with this Confed, we want to go all out and compete until the end. You know, we challenge for everything. With the trophy that we won this year, I think it makes everyone in the team to be hungry for more. So, it’s possible that we can get another one. That’s why we are pushing each other each and every day.”
However, Zinnbauer is expected to rest some of the players when he takes on Galaxy. He will need them to be well rested as he prepares for SuperSport United in the DSTV Premiership encounter scheduled for next Wednesday.