CAPE TOWN – Orlando Pirates coach Josef Zinnbauer said his Buccaneers are buoyed by their recent win ahead of their CAF Confederation Cup Group A clash against Algerian visitors ES Setif at the Orlando Stadium, Soweto, today (kickoff 3pm).
Over the weekend, Pirates bagged a much needed 2-0 win thanks to an inspired performance by substitute Vincent Pule who scored a brace against Maritzburg United. Zinnbauer shared his thoughts about the upcoming Setif clash at a media conference yesterday.
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“We had a difficult time after the Sundowns game,” said the Germanborn Zinnbauer, who was referring to their 4-1 Nedbank Cup thrashing by Sundowns, three days before the Maritzburg match.
“There is confidence in the team after that result, and it has placed us in a good position. There is a good spirit now. This opponent (Setif) will not be easy to play but we have more information on them than before. They are a team that gives a good performance, but the points they collect is not always so good.
“We need three points, but they need it more than us, so we expect them to play more forward and offensive. If they do, it will be an advantage for us.”
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Zinnbauer touched briefly on the aggression that his players encounter in CAF games.
“In CAF, the opponents can be very aggressive, and by now, the squad understand what is required in Africa,” said Zinnbauer. “I hope the referee will give an early card to signal to the players (that he won’t tolerate foul play).
“We have always lost players (to kicking by opponents), but I cannot remember our opponents losing a player (because we played foul).”
Pirates stalwart and captain Happy Jele said a win will ease the way for the team to reach the quarter-final round/
“We must win this game so that we place ourselves in a good position for the last (group) match,” said Jele. “We are coming off a good result over the weekend, and we aim to finish on top (of the Group A log) and qualify for the next round. It will relax the team.”
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Pirates are unbeaten in Group A and head the log with eight points after four matches. Setif, with the same number of games, are rock bottom with four points. Six weeks ago, Pirates and Setif played to a goalless draw on neutral territory in Ghana. The playing conditions, with its long grass, were not ideal in Ghana, and Zinnbauer is pleased that Orlando’s surface will mark a vast improvement.