Orlando Pirates hope to carry continental form into league clash with Royal AM
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Durban – Orlando Pirates will be keen to kick-start their DStv Premiership season when they play against high-flying Royal AM at the Orlando Stadium on Thursday afternoon.
The Sea Robbers enter the game on the back of an inspiring 1-0 CAF Confederation Cup second preliminary round aggregate win over Congo Brazzaville based Diables Noirs.
By reaching the Confederation Cup playoff round, Pirates joined fellow South African team Marumo Gallants who shockingly managed to eliminate African giants AS Vita Club in their second preliminary round tie.
Coincidently also like Pirates, Gallants are so far performing well in continental competition despite a slow start to their Premiership campaign.
Pirates enter their game against Royal AM in seventh place on the DSTV Premiership standings, having picked up just two wins so far from their seven games to date. They are already nine points behind log leaders Mamelodi Sundowns despite the season still being young.
In Royal AM, they will be facing one of the league’s early-season surprise package. The league newcomers who hail from Durban have so far picked up four wins from their seven games to date and sit in third place on the league standings.
Meanwhile, Golden Arrows Matome Mathiane believes that Mandla Ncikazi has the potential to succeed at Orlando Pirates. Ncikazi has been coaching Pirates with co-coach Fadlu Davids following the departure of Josef Zinnbauer. Questions were asked about the potential of Ncikazi and Davids to lead the club following it’s early season struggles in the league.
“Mandla is a good coach. I am the first to say that he deserves to coach one of the big three clubs in the league. The supporters of Pirates and management of the club should give him time to show them the experience he has in the game and what he has learnt in coaching so far,” said Mathiane to South African media.
Ncikazi drew praise last season after leading Golden Arrows to a fourth place finish in the league while working with limited resources.
“He can manage Pirates if they can give him power. He can handle the team. I believe that with the way Pirates players play, that’s how he likes his teams to play,” said Mathiane.