Josef Zinnbauer, coach of Orlando Pirates. Picture: PHILIP MAETA/GALLO IMAGES
Josef Zinnbauer, coach of Orlando Pirates. Picture: PHILIP MAETA/GALLO IMAGES

Orlando Pirates coach Josef Zinnbauer said his players are starting to get to grips with his ideas after Bucs dished out an almost perfect first-half performance in their rout of strugglers Polokwane City on Wednesday to move into the top five.

City chased shadows in the first half at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane as Pirates turned on the style with forward Gabadinho Mhango helping himself to a hat-trick after 36 minutes of swashbuckling attacking football. It was a barnstorming display from Pirates as they raced to a 3-0 lead.

Mohamed Anas missed a penalty for City with the score at 3-0 before Ben Motshwari made it 4-0 on the stroke of halftime as Pirates moved to 24 points after 16 outings.

“I think the team understands my philosophy. We hope we work in the next days‚ in the next weeks and in the next months on the system. We will be better‚” said Zinnbauer after Pirates beat Polokwane 4-1 as Anas made up for his penalty miss with a consolation goal for Clinton Larsen’s charges.

Pirates have looked to suck the life out of their opponents in the first half in the three matches played under the German mentor.

Black Leopards (3-1 win)‚ Bloemfontein Celtic (1-1) and Polokwane City (4-1) may have been struggling opponents, but Pirates showed marked signs of organisation and structure in their play.

They have employed a high-press when their opponents try to build from the back; they strive to win back the ball as soon as possible after losing it; and they play a fast-paced passing game that looks good on the eye.

“You have seen it in the first half. We want to win the ball. We want to have lots of possession. We need to be on the offensive‚ not on the defensive — that’s my philosophy‚” said Zinnbauer‚ who has amassed seven points from a possible nine since taking over the bench in December.

“It’s not always possible but I am happy with what I saw in the first half. We have a lot of supporters who give us good support and we want fun in the game.”

While Zinnbauer was happy with the three points‚ he bemoaned the second-half performance as Polokwane stormed back with a consolation goal.

It was the third match for Zinnbauer after replacing interim coach Rulani Mokwena and‚ in all the encounters‚ Pirates completely dominated their opponents in the first half, only to go off the boil in the second.

“I’m not happy with the goal Polokwane scored against us. But it’s normal. We will talk about it in the next days and then we will find a good solution for it in the next game‚” said Zinnbauer.

Pirates have failed to keep a clean sheet under Zinnbauer but he will not be bothered much with two wins and a draw in three matches.

Pirates host champions Mamelodi Sundowns in the Premiership in their next match next Wednesday at Orlando Stadium in Soweto.

“Sundowns is another opponent who play another system. It will be a new game and I hope we improve and prepare the team so good that we can make a point or more [against Sundowns]‚” said Zinnbauer.


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