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Pirates must not be ungrateful like Chiefs [Opinion]

Orlando Pirates will have a chance to rewrite their history after reaching the CAF Confederation Cup final for the second time with an aggregate win over Al Ahli Tripoli in the semi-finals.

Pirates will be determined to outclass the class of 2015, who reached the final but lost to Tunisian side Etoile du Sahel.

The quick turnaround of the final on Friday means the Buccaneers will have a fixture pile-up in their run-in in the domestic league.

The Soweto giants will have to finish the league behind schedule.

The DStv Premiership was due to conclude on May 21 on Saturday but the Buccaneers will carry on with their three games in hand against Maritzburg United on May 25, Royal AM four days later and will play their final game on 1 June against SuperSport United.

There should not be immediate pressure for Pirates to finish as high as possible in the league, as they are currently in seventh place on the DStv Premiership log and could comfortably qualify for the top eight.

However, that's if they win the title.

Should Pirates not win the cup, reality could be harsh on them, as they will have to play their three games in hand with the handicap of fatigue, emotionally and physically.

The Buccaneers management could also have to ponder whether they need coaching changes for next season, after co-coach Mandla Ncikazi admitted that they did not have a good season domestically.

“We did not have the have the best of seasons, that is the truth. But at least this is a sign that the team exists, the team has this capacity that I’ve always believed [in] and for the supporters and fans just to have hope that Pirates have done it before, and they can do it again,” Ncikazi told the media.

“For me that was for the fans and for management that at least if you don’t have a good season in the league but at least we are still in the CAF and preferably win it in the end, we have to go and fight in Nigeria for that," he added.

Kaizer Chiefs were in an almost similar scenario last season, although their domestic form was much worse and despite former coach Gavin Hunt taking them to the semi-finals of the CAF Champions League for the first time, they viewed the performances in the league as the most important indicator and terminated his contract.

What Amakhosi did not realise was that the after effects of reaching the latter stages of the CAF competitions takes it's toll on players, as they will be given a short rest period before the pre-season starts again.

And even the pre-season becomes shorter because they will have to give players an extended break and it will be worse in the upcoming season, as the 2022/23 campaign has been congested already due to the World Cup in Qatar which will play from November this year.

Pirates co-coaches Mandla Ncikazi and Fadlu Davids gave themselves a lifeline in their jobs after reaching the CAF Confederation Cup final but should they lose, they could also be judged on their domestic results and final log position.

However, given the congested 2022/23 season and the recovery needed for the new campaign, the Buccaneers should not be ungrateful, like Chiefs and look for a new coach while time is against them.

Amakhosi paid the price of rushing to get a new coach whilst knowing they will have a short pre-season and the Buccaneers should avoid making the same mistake if Ncikazi and Davids come back home without the Cup.

By Thato Bosoga

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Content created and supplied by: @Thatob_ (via Opera News )

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