Johannesburg – Soweto giants Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs technical teams and coaches are gearing up for the 2021/22 campaign Christmas break with an assortment of headaches.
Sticking out like a sore thumb is the failure of their charges to find the back of the net, something they will definitely be pondering during the festive break as they challenge for the league, a trophy that has eluded them for the past five seasons.
At Bucs, co-coach Mandla Ncikazi together with right-hand man Fadlu Davids have been lamenting the lack of composure in front of goal despite Pirates moving a few notches up the league log table in the last two weeks.
Ncikazi believes Bucs’ scoring problems could be alleviated by the return of creative Thembinkosi Lorch from a long lay-off due to a shoulder injury.
Out at the Chiefs Village in Naturena, Amakhosi go to the Christmas break with a squad depleted by Covid-19, after over 30 cases were reported.
Assistant coach Arthur Zwane had no option but to field the players head coach Stuart Baxter had been sidelining since the beginning of the season.
To the chagrin of the Glamour Boys faithful, Englishman Baxter, a man who believes in the tried and tested, the senior members of the squad, was missing from the bench probably due to the pandemic.
In the dugout against Sekhukhune United on Sunday stood Zwane, who even before Baxter returned for his second stint, fielded younger, more energic, hard-running players they recruited from the reserve team last season.
The youth brigade was part of the team that went all the way to face Egypt’s powerhouse Al Ahly in the CAF Champions League final they lost 3-0.
Zwane was full of praise for his younger-looking side that had Nkosingiphile Ngcobo Kgaogelo Sekgota and Phathu Nange on Sunday.
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