Pirates' DStv Premiership campaign has started with two victories, three draws, and one defeat, which is a good start for any team. With a sixth-place finish in the log standings, the Soweto giants have kept pace with the league's early leaders while remaining within striking distance of them.
Ncikazi, who spoke to the media after the Buccaneers' one-all draw with Cape Town City on Saturday, underlined the areas in which the team needs to make progress moving forward.
When it comes to possession, the Buccaneers outscore their opponents by a significant margin. In the six matches that Pitates has played so far this season, they have held 51 percent of the ball possession advantage. Pirates were only inferior to their opponents against Mamelodi Sundowns (40 percent) and Cape Town City (44 percent), according to Ncikazi, and this is something that has to be improved.
"[There are] numerous things, but maybe the most important is the capacity to exercise dominance over one's property. Have the assurance that if we state that we are attacking on the basis of possession, we will be unambiguous about it. We must be dominant when we have the ball but also adapting to what our opponents are doing when they have the possession. It is necessary for us to maintain possession," the coach stated after the game.
During a press conference, Ncikazi stated that "we must be extremely successful in transitions in attack, create more possibilities, which I believe is a weakness on our side."
The coach's perspective has been proven correct in this instance. Averaging four shots on target per game, Pirates have the highest total of five in their history, which they achieved in three matches. These figures stand in sharp contrast to those of league leaders Mamelodi Sundowns, who average only six shots on target per game. Pirates' transition game, which has been recognized by Ncikazi as their Achilles' heel, is woefully lacking in quality. Only one goal has been scored by the Buccaneers this season while they have been on the counter-attacking.
Three of the Pirates' seven goals this season have come from set plays (one straight free kick and two corners), indicating that this is an area on which the club is concentrating its efforts. Ncikazi, on the other hand, believes that given Pirates' aerial supremacy, this aspect of their game need greater emphasis over the next break.
With our size, capacity, and aerial skill, we should be putting in more effort on set plays." "Be ruthless on set plays." "I understand that it also depends on delivery, and there are areas where one can make improvements," he continued.
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