Pirates head coach Josef Zinnbauer will be involved in his first ever Soweto Derby this Saturday when his charges host Kaizer Chiefs at FNB Stadium.
Asked what advice he would give the German, Mhlongo who got first-hand experience of being part of this fixture said, “Most of the time in the derby there’s not much that he can do,” said Mhlongo.
“It’s only to give players freedom, and to apply tactics because the derby on its own has got a huge impact in terms of motivation to each and every game. I wish players were like that each and every game, they become totally different players when it comes to the derby, they are motivated. I think every little child that plays football wants to be at the derby one day.
“Yes, every Pirates game it’s a pressure, but the derby it’s one thing that you must allow players to express themselves, it’s a totally different game. He (Zinnbauer) doesn’t need to feel pressure, those boys will never disappoint in a derby,” Mhlongo reckoned.
“Both teams they looking forward to play the derby, so he must just apply his tactics and trust the players then they will do well. I think it goes with the performance as well, I think most of the time that’s where you lose the league, if now you start playing a player that is not on form, that was out for long, you killing the moral of those ones who were doing well for you. Remember each and everyone wants to play this game. After this game it can affect you going forward.
“You have to focus on the opposition’s strengths and weaknesses in the derby and minimize yours – punish them on their weaknesses.
“Let’s go back to the latest coach Rulani (Mokwena), he played well because his tactics were spot on. Although he didn’t win the games, but he could see the derby was very interesting both sides, in fact he was unlucky not to win those derbies.”
By Musa Nhlapo