Orlando Pirates have transformed themselves into an attacking machine that at times is breathtaking since coach Josef Zinnbauer’s arrival three months ago. But the German mentor did not fix the side’s problems with a magic wand, goalkeeper Wayne Sandilands insists.
Pirates face Kaizer Chiefs at a sold-out FNB Stadium on Saturday and are on an eight-match unbeaten run that includes winning the last six league games in a row after battling for consistency under previous coach Rhulani Mokwena.
Sandilands said the team did not change overnight, as Zinnbauer had worked long and hard to better organise the team in all departments. “It’s hard to pinpoint one thing to say this is why everything has changed‚” said Sandilands‚ whose own form improved considerably after Zinnbauer took over from Mokwena in December.
“I think at the moment there’s the right chemistry‚ everybody is pulling together and everybody is one-minded and has bought into the style‚ the structure… it’s just the mix of things. I can’t really say what it is.
“But as things stand now‚ with all the chemistry‚ it’s a good environment to be in. Everybody is excited to come to training and excited to play and we’re backing each other ... hopefully we can just continue dominating as we have.”
Pirates have already suffered two defeats to Chiefs in official matches this season but the Bucs gloveman said they have an opportunity to correct things on Saturday in a game that could have a major influence on the destiny of the league title.
“The season as a whole has been a little inconsistent for us as a team‚” said Sandilands. “We obviously didn’t start the way we wanted while we actually had high expectations coming off how we ended last season.
“We wanted to just pick it off from the beginning‚ pick up where we left off and just go. It was a bit disappointing‚ how we started‚ and obviously with the coaching changes it’s never easy.
“But as things are turning out right now‚ we are gaining form, which we’re happy about.
“We’ve got a very important four games [against Chiefs‚ Sundowns‚ SuperSport and Wits] ahead of us now. So we just have to focus on the next step because if you start thinking too much ahead of yourself‚ you lose focus.
“It’s a matter of focusing on the next game‚ which is Chiefs‚ and the three points that are available on Saturday. We’ll do everything in our power to get those three points.”