Josef Zinnbauer admits Pirates lacked conviction in cup win over Uthongathi

Sport

Johannesburg – Orlando Pirates coach Joseph Zinnbauer is worried that striker Gabadinho Mhango might have picked up yet another injury in their 1-0 Nedbank, last 32 win over Uthongathi FC at Orlando Stadium on Saturday.

The coach has been frustrated by injuries to strikers, with Zakhele Lepasa and Tshegofatso Mabasa, who began the season in form and important to Bucs’ movement up front, out for weeks.

In that time, Zinnbauer’s efforts to nurse Mhango back to form have also been hampered by niggling injuries.

Last season’s Premiership joint top-scorer scored when starting in a 3-0 league win against Tshakuma Tsha Madzivhandila FC (TTM),but aggravated a muscle injury that meant he missed a game, then played two as a substitute, missed a game, and played two more as a substitute.

Such inconsistency in line-ups can be detrimental to a striker, who needs game time to establish confidence in front of goal.

Mhango got just a second start in eight games against Uthongathi, and struck the 63rd-minute winner, before being substituted in the 68th with Zinnbauer indicating the Malawian might have left the field due to his muscle strain flaring up again.

Zinnbauer admitted it was an unconvincing win for Bucs against the GladAfrica Championship’s sixth-placed team.

“I think this was not a good game for us. We have the lead in this game but it’s normal‚ we had opportunities and that’s normal. But we did not have this power in the final third that you need‚” the coach said.

“Normally you can decide this game earlier. … But the result is important. For players on the bench‚ for ‘Pepe’ [20-year-old debutant Thabiso Sesane] it was good he could play.

“And also minutes for ‘Gaba’ [Mhango]‚ and a goal. But I don’t know what’s happened now – whether it’s his muscle or it was protecting. We have to ask.

“But at the end of the day, it’s the result that’s important for us and that we go through to the next round.”

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