Josef Zinnbauer hopes to have Thembinkosi Lorch available for Black Leopards clash
DURBAN – Orlando Pirates are currently on a run of two games without a win and will be looking to earn three points as they host relegation bound Black Leopards at the Orlando Stadium in Soweto on Wednesday afternoon.
The Sea Robbers also head into their game against Lidoda Duvha on the back of a 3-0 thrashing at the hands of Mamelodi Sundowns which was their second defeat in succession following a Caf Confederation Cup loss to Nigerian side Enyimba.
The pressure is also mounting on Pirates coach Josef Zinnbauer. The German tactician has had a talented group of players to work with this season but they have not really been a threat to Sundowns and are currently fifth in the standings, below the likes of AmaZulu, Golden Arrows and Moroka Swallows, all of which are sides that they would have definitely planned to be ahead of at this stage of the campaign.
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In defence of Zinnbauer, he has been facing injury problems to his top players throughout the season, something which was just a case of bad luck and which has been beyond his control, with the likes of Gabadinho Mhango, Terrence Dzvukamanja, Thembinkosi Lorch and Thabang Monare all spending time on the sidelines. There is no doubt that the injuries would have negatively impacted on the team’s results and hampered their finishing in front of goal.
“Dzvukamanja has gone to a second specialist and we are waiting to hear exactly what is wrong with him. He always has pain in his ankle after getting a knock against Al Ahli Benghazi on his other leg and now we have to wait. He cannot pass the ball as he is always in pain and this is why we have to wait for feedback from the specialist,” said Zinnbauer.
Zinnbauer did indicate that there is a good chance that Lorch will be returning to action in the near future.
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“Hopefully he’s available for us in the next game or in the next games as we need him (Lorch). I also hope that Happy (Jele) is ready but he cannot play long balls, he feels pain which is a problem. He is also club captain and we need his experience. We also have a long list of players with small injury problems. The injury problems of Lorch and Dzvukamanja are big but there are others who have smaller problems,” said Zinnbauer.
Regardless of his injury problems, Zinnbauer will have no excuses if his side fails to beat Leopards who seven points adrift of safety.