Orlando Pirates

Orlando Pirates can copy Kaizer Chiefs’ example

7:45 AM WAT 02/12/2021
Orlando Pirates, October 2021
Bucs are currently seventh on the table with 18 points, just four points behind second-placed Amakhosi - who have played one game more

In several ways, it’s been a similar season so far for Soweto giants Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs.

Injuries have played their part, with both clubs having had a number of key players out.

Inconsistency is also what has plagued both clubs, and there have been times when the fans had been losing patience with their respective teams, only for a few positive results to ease the tension.

Results the bottom line

That is certainly what happened with Chiefs after they had won only one of their opening seven games in all competitions.

But since beating Chippa United 4-0 in the middle of October, the Glamour Boys steadily played their way out of their rut and are now looking a more cohesive and invigorated bunch.

The Chilli Boys thrashing aside, it has by no means been plain sailing for Stuart Baxter’s side, who still have a lot of room for improvement.

But what they were able to do was to dig deep, work hard as a team, and grind out some results.

There were hiccups – defeat to Stellenbosch and a draw with AmaZulu, but after five wins in seven games, Chiefs are sitting pretty in second position, with several of their top players the likes of Keagan Dolly, Bernard Parker and Khama Billiat for example, in good form and playing with confidence.

Winning breeds confidence, and once the confidence is there, it can also become easier for a team to start playing more attractive football and to address some of their deeper issues.

Like Chiefs, Pirates have also endured struggles of their own this season. But with back-to-back victories over Diables Noirs and LPRC Oilers in the Caf Confederation Cup as well as wins over Sekhukhune United and Stellenbosch in the domestic league, things have started to take a turn for the better for co-coaches Mandla Ncikazi and Fadlu Davids.

And so while a section of the Pirates supporters have not yet been won over by the kind of football their side has been dishing out this season, it’s imperative the Sea Robbers, their confidence perhaps still a little brittle, to also find a way to grind out results in the weeks ahead.

It doesn't have to be pretty, but they need to keep winning.

That will start with Thursday’s match against struggling Baroka FC, especially seeing the game is in Orlando.

That’s followed by another winnable home game – against LPRC Oilers on the weekend, and after that Pirates play AmaZulu in Durban and then face another two strugglers in TS Galaxy and Swallows FC.

With a few players coming back from injury and some finding form, it seems now is the Buccaneers’ time to make their move, salvage something from their season, and at least keep pace with archrivals Kaizer Chiefs.