Josef Zinnbauer. Picture: OLIVER HARDT/GETTY IMAGES
Josef Zinnbauer. Picture: OLIVER HARDT/GETTY IMAGES

Orlando Pirates cannot comment on what they will do in the January transfer market until new coach Josef Zinnbauer has had a chance to assess his squad‚ Bucs administrative manager Floyd Mbele has said.

Zinnbauer‚ who has yet to finalise his work permit‚ will not be on the bench when Pirates end 2019 with their Absa Premiership fixture against Black Leopards at Orlando Stadium on Saturday (kickoff 3.30pm). Caretaker coach Rulani Mokwena will remain in charge.

It seems unlikely that a coach so new to the Premier Soccer League as Zinnbauer will aim to make too many January signings‚ especially given the size of Pirates’ squad‚ which contains 35 registered players‚ according to Transfermarkt.com.

If anything‚ the coach might aim to reduce the size of the squad‚ which was built for the purpose of competing domestically and on the continent, an aim that no longer applies after Pirates exited the CAF Champions League in the preliminary round in August.

Mbele was asked if Pirates have an idea yet on their intentions in January’s transfer window.

“I mean we obviously have just appointed a new coach. So I think it’s only fair that the coach gets to assess all the players who we have‚ and then take things from there‚” he said.

This might mean Zinnbauer taking until about mid-January to make some decisions on areas he might feel need strengthening‚ or more likely players who might be released.

“Well look‚ I don’t want to be too presumptuous‚” Mbele said.

“I think it’s good. We have appointed a coach. He’s working with the technical team. Let him decide. So I don’t want to say it will take him a week or three weeks. Then already I would be putting him under pressure. It’s only fair.”

Questions have been raised about Zinnbauer’s lack of a trophy in his coaching career‚ as he joins a team desperate to reverse what is now just about five-and-a-half years without a trophy‚ since the 2014 Nedbank Cup.

Mbele did not want to be drawn on the coach’s qualifications or what had convinced Pirates that Zinnbauer was the right fit for them. “No‚ I’m not saying anything about the coach. The coach has only been here a week. Let him settle down‚” Mbele said.

Mbele said Zinnbauer — whose top-level experience is as coach of Hamburger SV in the Bundesliga for six months and FC Zurich in Switzerland for two seasons — has not officially been presented to the media yet due to his work permit problem.

PSL this weekend:

Saturday: Baroka FC v Stellenbosch FC (Peter Mokaba Stadium, 3.30pm), Orlando Pirates v Black Leopards (Orlando Stadium, 3.30pm), Highlands Park v Lamontville Golden Arrows (Makhulong Stadium, 3.30pm), Mamelodi Sundowns v Polokwane City (Loftus Versfeld Stadium, 6pm),  Chippa United v SuperSport United (Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, 8.15pm).

Sunday: Maritzburg United v Kaizer Chiefs (Harry Gwala Stadium, 3.30pm), Bloemfontein Celtic v AmaZulu (Dr Molemela Stadium, 3.30pm).

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