Monday Nov 04, 2019. 17:00
Orlando Pirates coach Rhulani Mokwena says there is no crisis at the club following their Telkom Knockout quarterfinal defeat to Soweto rivals Kaizer Chiefs as they prepare to face the old enemy again this weekend.
Pirates were ousted on penalties in Durban on Saturday to end another search for silverware as their long five-year wait continues, while the club also sits 10 points behind leaders Chiefs in the Absa Premiership title race.
They can cut that to seven on Saturday and Mokwena insists there are signs of improvement from his team.
“In Pirates’ last five matches, there’s two wins, two draws and one defeat. If that is not an upward trajectory and you don’t see that as progress, then I don’t know what is,” Mokwena told reporters.
“No team can win each and every single game, but from where we come – we’ve been conceding goals, losing matches week-in and week-out; we’ve managed to stabilise the ship and we the reality is that we are two points fourth spot.
“Now it makes the next league games very, very important so that we can get a little bit closer to competing for the championship, and that’s what we have to focus on for now.
“So, there’s a lot of progress and there’s a lot of positives, and this is what we want to focus on. Like I say to you, if you look at the results and not consider penalties, then you’ll understand that in the last five games we’ve only lost one.
“So, we don’t feel the pressure; we don’t feel the crisis. Ours is to makes sure now, because we’ve proven that we can win games, to find a bit of consistency and win two, three, four games in a row. That is what we focus on.”
Pirates are now unbeaten in a record 13 derby games against Chiefs, excluding post-match penalties, but should the AmaKhosi break that run, Mokwena could be in the firing line going into the international break.