Orlando Pirates co-coaches Mandla Ncikazi and Fadlu Davids are under pressure to achieve the desired results, starting with the AmaZulu clash in the Nedbank Cup Last 32 at home on Sunday afternoon.
Pirates are second in the DStv Premiership but have not been at their best – winning only seven of their 19 matches. They also trail leaders Mamelodi Sundowns by 14 points.
For most of the first half of the season, Ncikazi has attributed Pirates’ inconsistent form to injuries to some of their key players. However, it appears that the Soweto giants management demands results, not excuses.
“I was told in the meeting by the management that I complain too much. Let me try not, but I want to. I still don’t have the opportunity of having a full squad,” said Ncikazi.
“But it is better than it was before. (Vincent) Pule is still out, though.”
With Sundowns seemingly running away with the league title, Pirates’ have a realistic chance of clinching the Nedbank Cup and Caf Confederations Cup.
“It’s important that we do well in the cup. It will be a miracle for any team to bridge a gap of 14 points against Sundowns. It’s only them that can take the title out of their cabinet. The Nedbank gives us a chance to play five games and win,” added Ncikazi.
“Working at Pirates (there’s always pressure). I’ve never seen such pressure. You have pressure even after winning the match. You can imagine the pressure after losing the match.
“Every coach, the club and management want to win. Pirates have not won, except for the MTN8 last season, for the past eight years. If the brand is this big, we must emulate that by getting the results that are equal to it.”