Gaba needs a rest – Pirates coach


Orlando Pirates coach Josef Zinnbauer says Gabadinho Mhango might be rested for tonight’s Absa Premiership game against Baroka FC.

Mhango has failed to find his goal scoring boots after the resumption of football following a lengthy break due to Covid-19 pandemic.

The former Bata Bullets (now Nyasa Big Bullets), Bloemfontein Celtic and Bidvest Wits forward is the current top goal scorer with 14 goals but has now played five consecutive games without scoring, allowing Kaizer Chiefs’ Samir Nurkovic and Highlands Park forward Peter Shalulile to close in on the attacker.

And speaking to on Saturday after a goalless draw against Wits, Zinnbauer said: “It’s not easy, you know as a striker you need a certain trust from the coach and it’s not easy because on the bench we have a good striker or two.”

“He scored a lot of goals in the first games, and now against Wits he had one of the best chances but he didn’t score,” lamented Zinnbauer.

He added: “As a striker, when he doesn’t think about anything he scores, and now may be he thinks a little bit too much that he wants to score.”

“He makes good work, he runs, he works for the team, he makes defensive and offensive work and he tries, tries and tries, but it is like this sometimes as a striker.”

“You have moments when you can do whatever you want but you don’t score, so now it’s a decision we have to make, yes we give him now the trust, which he needs, but I don’t know what’s in the next games. We have not a long time and we have to see what’s possible in the next game, maybe he needs a break or he needs the next game, I don’t know, we’ll figure out a plan for the next game.

Mhango had a successful run before the break, netting goals for his club before winning February’s player of the month and goal of the month awards.

In a related development, Gerald Phiri Jnr and Richard Mbulu will be hoping for maximum points against Pirates to increase Baroka’s survival chances in the top flight League.

A win over Pirates will see Baroka opening a four-point gap over the bottom teams.