Orlando Pirates will be patient with Gabadinho Mhango, despite him having lost his scoring touch, coach Joseph Zinnbauer says.
Pirates played to a second 0-0 draw with Bidvest Wits at the weekend. This was after Bucs followed last Tuesday’s goalless draw against Mamelodi Sundowns at Dobsonville Stadium with the goalless draw against Wits at Ellis Park.
Mhango’s white-hot form when Zinnbauer arrived in December helped the coach get off to a flying start. The Malawian‚ who had four goals by November‚ raced to the top of the Premiership list with 10 goals in eight games as Bucs charged into the top three. His subsequent four games without scoring have coincided with a defeat and three draws.
“You know as a striker you need self-confidence, and you need the trust from the coach‚” Zinnbauer said after Mhango had the best chance in the Wits game when his low strike was denied a goal by an excellent save from Wits goalkeeper Ricardo Goss.
“Mhango scored a lot of goals in the first games. [On Saturday] he had one of the best chances. A striker‚ when he doesn’t think about anything‚ will score. And maybe at the moment he’s thinking a little bit too much. But he’s doing a good job. He runs‚ he works for the team‚ he does defensive and offensive work,” said Zinnbauer.
“And now it’s the decision we have to make. Normally we will give him the trust and he will meet the trust. We have two days’ rest now and then we have to see what’s possible in the next game. Maybe he needs a break‚ or maybe he needs to play.”
Zinnbauer might consider dropping Mhango deeper‚ to play behind Tshegofatso Mabaso‚ who scored six goals in the first half of the season. Then the coach would have to deploy Luvuyo Memela in a wide role or in a drifting one as part of the front three.
Pirates‚ still in third spot‚ meet 13th-placed Baroka FC next at Ellis Park on Tuesday.
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