Orlando Pirates co-coach Mandla Ncikazi has made a bold statement following his team’s 2-0 win over LPRC Oilers in the CAF Confederation Cup.
Tshegofatso Mabasa and Fortune Makaringe scored for the Buccaneers in Liberia, and after the game, Ncikazi told reporters that Pirates are on the same level as Mamelodi Sundowns.
However, Ncikazi admitted that Pirates haven’t really been living up to the same standard as Sundowns who are unstoppable domestically.
And he attributed Pirates’ struggles to a number of factors, including the changes in the technical team and injuries.
“We are on the level of Sundowns and we even have more support than Sundowns,” Ncikazi told the media in Liberia.
“But Pirates are not achieving at their best currently, but we understand the process. It’s the new leadership, it’s the players that have been injured but now we are on the right track towards achieving big things,” said Ncikazi.
Ncikazi feels Pirates would have been like an oiled machine had they not be missing a few of their players who took part in last season’s CAF Confederation Cup.
“Half of our squad that played last season are not here. So, it is positive that one each is coming back,” admitted Ncikazi.
“We have one that started playing today (Sunday) who has never played in the season in South Africa, so it is important that we won today,” he continued.
“It is important that we have the momentum of winning. Pirates is a big team in South Africa, you are expected to win every match, every weekend,” added Ncikazi.