In a match like Sunday’s Caf Confederation Cup second qualifying round, second leg clash with Diables Noirs, Orlando Pirates coach Mandla Ncikazi wishes he had all his best players available.
One such player is new defensive recruit Olisa Ndah, who has done well for the Buccaneers since his arrival.
Ndah is one of the players who is not registered for the continental tournament and Ncikazi and his technical team are also facing injuries to players like Thembinkosi Lorch, Innocent Maela, Zakhele Lepasa, Richard Ofori and Vincent Pule.
With the scoreline from the first leg reading 0-0 in Brazzaville, the Buccaneers need goals and a solid performance at the back, something that Ndah has shown, particularly in Pirates’ previous game, where they played to a goalless stalemate with Maritzburg United in the DStv Premiership.
The Nigerian born defender was hailed by Ncikazi for his contribution – the Pirates coach says he is a complete defender.
“Ndah is a modern defender, a defender that any coach would love to work with,” said Ncikazi.
He is comfortable on the ground, in the build-up in attack and he can use both feet, he is strong in the air and he can defend one versus one. It affords the team an opportunity to play with a high line. If you want to press the opponents, you should not be worried about the space behind, he presents you with that dynamic.
“I even think that at some point you can even play him in the middle of the park. He is strong on set plays defensively and offensively. He’s just a complete defender. Maybe, very soon he should go higher up the pitch than when he is right now. But I am really happy for the contribution that he has provided.”
With Ndah unavailable for this clash, Pirates are expected to start with Kwanda Mngonyama and Happy Jele at centre back when the teams lock horns at the Orlando Stadium. Kick off is 5.30pm.