Pirates mentor Zinnbauer predicts more goals from Mundele
The highly rated striker has been gradually introduced at Bucs, with the coach citing conditioning and tactical needs
Orlando Pirates coach Josef Zinnbauer believes there is more to come from Jean-Marc Mundele now that the Congolese striker has scored his first goal for the Buccaneers.
Mundele came off the bench last Sunday and displayed physical strength to shrug off two defenders and finish in Pirates’ 3-0 Caf Confederation Cup playoff tie first-leg win against Jwaneng Galaxy at Botswana National Stadium in Gaborone.
The highly rated striker‚ signed on a season’s loan from AS Vita Club in November‚ has been gradually introduced at Bucs. His six appearances (three league‚ one cup‚ two continental) have all come as a substitute‚ Zinnbauer citing conditioning and tactical needs.
“Mundele scored. That’s always good for a striker, he gets more confidence [from it]. He’s coming more with his conditioning‚ he’s coming more into the game model that we need‚” Zinnbauer said in Thursday’s pre-match media conference for Sunday’s second leg at Orlando Stadium.
“And we have felt this before in the training sessions and he’s now given us the signal in the game. He had a good game.
“For a striker to score is important. And I think‚ with a game on Sunday‚ we have to see now what’s happened in the squad.”
Zinnbauer was upbeat about the first-leg performance in which Thulani Hlatshwayo‚ Linda Mntambo and Mundele all scored. “It was not just the three goals we scored‚ but also the performance we gave. This was a good team performance‚ and I’m happy about this.”
The coach could not commit on whether Mundele might finally get a start in the second leg but suggested the striker would at least come off the bench again.
“A striker needs goals. He can play better if he scores goals. He scored‚ and he’s given himself more self-confidence on the field‚” Zinnbauer said.
“And yes‚ maybe he has a chance on Sunday. The next chance maybe from the bench or the starting line-up.
“We are open for this. We have researched in this week exactly which player is ready for Sunday’s game.”
Zinnbauer said long-term injuries to Zakhele Lepasa‚ Tshegofatso Mabasa and Abel Mabaso ruled them out for Sunday’s match while Gabadinho Mhango faces a late fitness test.
Thabang Monare is back from a clash of heads that saw him leave the field in Bucs’ 2-0 Premiership win against Cape Town City a week-and-a-half ago.
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