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Are Pirates On Downs Level? Ncikazi Answers…

After the Buccaneers' 2-0 CAF Confederation Cup Preliminary Round triumph, Orlando Pirates coach Mandla Ncikazi made a daring comparison between the Buccaneers and Mamelodi Sundowns.

The Buccaneers continued their upward trend, winning their second match in a row after thrashing Stellenbosch FC in the DStv Premiership and sealing a first-leg victory over Liberia's LPRC Oilers on Sunday.

Pirates coach Ncikazi, brimming with confidence, remarked on the club's great turnaround following a difficult start to the season, noting that Pirates are on par with Sundowns, who have excelled both on the continent and in domestic competitions.

"We are on par with [Mamelodi] Sundowns in terms of support, but we have even more than Sundowns!" However, the Pirates are now not performing at their best, but we understand the process. It's the new leadership, it's the injured players, but we're on the right route today to achieve huge things," Ncikazi said after the game to the Liberian press.

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The return to full fitness of some of Pirates' regular stars has aided their cause this season, with Gabadinho Mhango the most recent player to be reintegrated into their matchday squad.

"Half of our team from the previous season isn't here. So there's a good chance that one of them will return. We have one player who began today who has never played in a season in South Africa, so winning tonight is crucial. It's critical that we maintain our winning momentum. "You are expected to win every match, every weekend" since Pirates is a huge team in South Africa, he continued.

The Buccaneers have little time to rest before hosting Baroka FC in DStv Premiership action at the Orlando Stadium on Thursday.

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Buccaneers Mamelodi Sundowns Mandla Ncikazi Ncikazi Orlando Pirates


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