News Live Scores
Orlando Pirates

Orlando Pirates coach Ncikazi apologises to chairman and fans

00:02 GMT+4 21/12/2021
Mandla Ncikazi, Orlando Pirates, November 2021
Two assists from Thembinkosi Lorch and two goals from Kwame Peprah inspired a come-from-behind victory for the Sea Robbers in Soweto

Orlando Pirates coach Mandla Ncikazi conceded there is room for improvement despite the 2-1 win over Marumo Gallants at Orlando Stadium on Monday evening.

The victory came just three nights after Pirates had been on the wrong end of a 4-1 hiding against Mamelodi Sundowns at Loftus.

Ncikazi, therefore, admitted to being relieved at his side’s response after they conceded after only 11 minutes against Gallants - with former Kaizer Chiefs midfielder Sphelele Ntshangase doing the damage before Peprah scored twice in two minutes for Bucs.

“It was very important that we get points today. Because from the catastrophic performance or result, that we’re coming from (Sundowns) – normally after such a setback, you always wait for the comeback,” the Pirates co-coach said in the post-match press conference.

“I’m proud of the players, proud of the team, that mentally they could overcome that challenge – I was worried when we conceded that early in the match, not the best of starts.

“But for them to come back that quickly and score two goals, really proud.”

The victory took the Sea Robbers into second spot, although they remain 16 points behind Sundowns and have played a game more.

While pleased with the outcome, Ncikazi conceded that Pirates have not reached their expected levels.

“Just happy that we just went through. There’s matches we played well but did not get a result. Today we just wanted to go over the line and I’m proud of the team, proud of the players,” he said.

“I know our supporters are highly frustrated, which I understand their frustration, they deserve better. Our chairman (Dr Irvin Khoza) deserves better.

“Processes of this nature, the team goes through this. All big teams go through this process. I’m just happy the players are with us and we got the result today.”

Ncikazi also made mention of Pirates’ lengthy injury list, saying that in his time at the club, he has ‘never had an entirely clean bill of health’.