Orlando Pirates coach Josef Zinnbauer is wary of struggling Maritzburg United.
Zinnbauer is well aware the Bucs will face a potential banana skin when they travel to KwaZulu-Natal to tackle the Pietermaritzburg side in a Nedbank Cup Last 16 clash at the Harry Gwala Stadium on Saturday.
Though they are struggling at the foot of the Premier Soccer League (PSL) standings‚ Maritzburg are still capable of causing an upset and ruining Pirates’ chances of pursuing a second trophy of the season.
Maritzburg have won only one match in their last six in all competitions and that was against GladAfrica Championship side Sekhukhune United enroute to this stage of the competition.
“We know they are in the relegation zone but this game is not about the log standings‚ it is a cup match and cup matches are always different to league matches‚” said Zinnbauer.
“I know players have the motivation to progress to the next round and this can give a team the motivation to go for a win. This means we have to be completely focused on the game.
“We know that Maritzburg are faced with a situation where they must fight in all their games‚ especially at home. Having said that‚ we know this club and the coach and we also know that they work hard‚ they run and fight for results. This is a cup game where if you win then you are in the next round‚ we have to fight for all the space on the field.”
Pirates have been inconsistent this season and they find themselves six points behind log-leaders Mamelodi Sundowns in the league, having played two games more.
Zinnbauer said there are various reasons behind the inconsistency. “We had a situation where there were a lot of new players‚ and also we didn’t have a normal pre-season. We had to integrate players and we had a lot of injured players. Today we have six attackers or offensive players out injured.
“We have players on the field who are not typical strikers like Deon Hotto‚ who is playing as a striker. We know him as a full-back or a winger and we are using Vincent Pule as a striker‚ but he is not a striker. Both of them have scored goals in the last games‚ which is good for us.”
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