Orlando Pirates host Amazulu on Thursday in a PSL match that is quickly turning into one that could have massive consequences.
And the consequences in play are not the visitor’s title hopes – in fact, by the time kick-off rolls around the race may be over. If Mamelodi Sundowns win against SuperSport United on Wednesday, the title will be staying for the fourth season at Chloorkop.
So then, this match is about Pirates’ coach Josef Zinnbauer.
His future is in jeopardy following supporter unrest. Unlike rivals Kaizer Chiefs, who’s fans are also unhappy with its coaching staff, the Bucs crashed out of continental competition after a 4-0 drubbing by Raja Casablanca.
“It’s not in Africa only. It’s the whole world. You look at England, you look at Germany, you look at the whole world. You lost games, then the supporters are upset. We win the next few games and we get a good place (on the Premiership standings),” said Zinnbauer on his woes.
“You have some supporters who are upset after games we lost, which is totally normal. I can understand. But you have on the other side supporters who give you positives. Don’t forget we won a title this season. We were in the quarterfinals (of the CAF Confederation Cup). Yes, you can find all the negative points, but we see the other side.”
Usuthu coach Benni McCarthy, a candidate for coach of the PSL season, wants his side to finish the season well.
“We know (that) maybe now it’s very much late to challenge Sundowns but we have to do it for ourselves, we have to do it for our families, we have to do it for AmaZulu fans; the faithfuls. It wasn’t by chance that we played the football that we’ve played and won the matches that we won. We worked exceptionally hard, the sacrifices that (we) made, so come Thursday hopefully the boys have the same desire and the same hunger to want to win.
“But we prepared ourselves nicely and (are) ready for Thursday’s match, so we hope it will be a good encounter and an encounter that will put our foot further in the stronghold of a securing that second place finish,” he said.
Midfielder Makhehlene Makhaula, defender Tapelo Xoki and goalkeeper Veli Mothwa will all be hoping to impress after earning nods as candidates in their respective positions in the PSL awards.
Pirates are currently fourth, three points behind Golden Arrows with two games in hand. The visitors are second and will start seven points ahead of their hosts.
The match kicks off at 5pm.