Orlando Pirates coach Josef Zinnbauer has earned a reputation for tinkering around with his starting line-up in almost every match this campaign.
This time around, however, it worked out in his favour as his men comfortably beat Cape Town City 2-0 in a DStv Premiership clash at Orlando Stadium on Tuesday evening.
Zinnbauer, who has come under heavy criticism for failing to field a consistent starting XI in recent weeks has provided insight regarding the constant and excessive changes.
The Soweto giants have struggled for consistency this season despite Zinnbauer having a team that has some of the top talents in the league, a well-established engine room.
The conditioning of players and matches coming thick and fast‚ and injuries‚ are the reasons informing some of the chopping and changing of his players.
“It’s not always so easy, after the games you have some [injury] problems. Last week it was [Vincent] Pule and before that, it was [Paseka] Mako,” said Zinnbauer.
“You always have a little bit of problems with injuries. Most players have problems, the muscles like [Bongani] Sam last week. It’s also a problem that we have a lot of games and we always have to manage them within a short time.
“We have a game on Sunday, and we have a little bit of time for recovery. That was also the reason why we didn’t change a lot of players for today’s match so that our chances become good. But we need the conditioning for the next game.”
Zinnabauer went on to state that he empathises with the supporters’ frustrations as injuries are also forcing him to use some of his stars out of position.
“But it is small things that we have to work on when a player is out. Then you have another chance you can play another when one player says ‘I am tired or I pulled my muscle a little bit.’ You have to protect them,” he said.
“I know there are supporters who are saying why is the coach always changing his team or why is he not fielding players in the right position?.
“We played [Siphesihle] Ndlovu [versus CT City] as a right-back because the other full-backs are out. Three full-backs all injured.
“Those are the things you have to manage as a coach so I understand the supporters, it’s not easy. Now we have played 10 or 11 games in 30 days and it’s a lot for players.
“But you have to find a new structure like [Deon] Hotto against [CT City], he played as a number nine yet he is not a nine you know this, there is no other nine.
“These are the things a player has to understand to help us playing different positions,” concluded the German coach.
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By Tokelo Martin Mokhesi
all pictures courtesy of Orlando Pirates