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'Injuries effected the chemistry' - Xoki discusses Orlando Pirates' problems

22:30 GMT+3 12/01/2023
Tapelo Xoki, Orlando Pirates, September 2022
Orlando Pirates defender Tapelo Xoki has identified what he thinks is the source of the Soweto giants’ problems.
  • Xoki opens up on Pirates' problems
  • Bucs are slowly losing the battle against Downs
  • Xoki says injuries are affecting their campaign

WHAT HAPPENED? The Buccaneers have dropped to eighth spot on the log after entering the New Year in fifth-placed. A three-match losing run has affected Pirates whose chances of catching up with log leaders Mamelodi Sundowns are now tricky.

The Soweto giants have 21 points fewer than Sundowns who have played a game more than them. As results are not coming in their favour, Xoki points at injuries as their downfall.

WHAT XOKI SAID: “Injuries have been the story of our season, hence we have a big squad. Sometimes these injuries disadvantage us in terms of getting the chemistry going. You can’t control these things but we always make sure that we support whoever replaces an injured player,” said Xoki as per Sowetan Live.

“We know that it hasn’t been our best time of late. We look to rectify that on Saturday. We can’t cry over spilt milk because there are still games to be played. The most important thing now is to soldier on and stay positive. There’s no need for us to focus on the games we have lost.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Pirates players affected by injuries this season include Thembinkosi Lorch, Vincent Pule, goalkeeper Richard Ofori, defender Olisa Ndah and striker Evidence Makgopa who is yet to make his Buccaneers debut.

While Xoki bemoans injuries, Pirates have been facing problems in front of goal. Their strikers have been struggling to find the back of the net, forcing the club to hire specialist strikers coach Scott Chickelday.

WHAT NEXT FOR XOKI: Having featured in Pirates' last two league games, Xoki would be hoping to take part in the Buccaneers’ next assignment against Golden Arrows at home.

He has been part of an improved defensive set-up and would want to maintain that record.