Wednesday Sep 09, 2020. 13:00
South African coaching legend Gordon Igesund has called for Orlando Pirates manager Josef Zinnbauer to be given more time at the club.
The German manager, who took over in December 2019, guided Pirates to a third-place finish in the recently completed Premier Soccer League (PSL) season, though his side’s form fell away after the lockdown and a potential title challenge went with it.
Igesund, who won the PSL title in 2000-01 with Pirates (one of his four league titles, all with different clubs), believes Zinnbauer cannot be judged on a campaign which was so severely disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic.
“What I would say is that I think it has been a difficult year for everybody, not only for [Zinnbauer],” Igesund is quoted by Sowetan Live.
“He started off really well and then the situation happened with the pandemic around no training and the league was put off for six months. So, all these things have been very difficult and it has affected different teams. I think it is very hard to judge him on this past year.
“It is very difficult to be judged because no team has been at their best, it is very unfair to say yes, you are happy or you are not happy.”
Igesund continued, “I think under the circumstances he has done really okay. The team has qualified for Africa [the 2020-21 CAF Confederation Cup] now.
“That’s a very big positive. I think at one stage they were challenging for the league. I think he had a fairly good season to finish third.
“I think to be fair, I will certainly suggest he must be given a chance. He had the team for one year, so maybe don’t count this year already. Let’s see what will happen next season.
“This season they will be playing in the CAF Confederation and they have the opportunity to start from scratch, so I think let’s see how it goes.”