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By Katlego Modiba

Football Journalist


Davids reflects on why things didn’t work out at Pirates

'It was a difficult period when we were there. It was covid19 and we didn’t have our fans behind us and Pirates play a different type of football with the emotionality of the fans pushing them,' Davids said.


Following a record-breaking season with Moroccan giants Raja Casablanca, Fadlu Davids has explained why things didn’t quite work out with him and Josef Zinnbauer at Orlando Pirates.

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The duo won the Botola Pro League in emphatic style by going the whole season unbeaten and achieving invincible status. Fadlu also served as Zinnbauer’s assistant at the Buccaneers where they won the MTN8 in 2020. The German resigned a single match into the 2021-2022 season.

“It was a difficult period when we were there. It was Covid 19 and we didn’t have our fans behind us and Pirates play a different type of football with the emotionality of the fans pushing them,” Davids said on Radio 2000 when asked if Zinnbauer was misunderstood during his time in South Africa.

“The other difficult factor on coach Zinnbauer’s part including myself and coach Mandla (Ncikazi) was that we had injuries, especially to our attacking players. I remember during Zinnbauer’s time, we didn’t really have a striker available and we were playing (Thembonkosi) Lorch as false 9 and were playing (Deon) Hotto in the Confederation Cup at times.

“That is the difference between the Pirates of last season because of the quality in the striker’s position. (Zakhele) Lepasa started the season (well) and (Tshegofatso) Mabasa coming in towards the end and (Evidence) Makgopa playing a big role in the December period and the AFCON.

“That’s the depth that they have now and we didn’t have that depth in our time. Coach Mandla and I had no real clear number 10 … and we didn’t have that creativity that we could use to play the type of football that we wanted.”

‘Not by luck’

“Congratulations to Pirates because this is not by luck or chance that they are achieving what they are achieving now. It’s the brains behind the people in the background that you won’t really see but they are putting a plan together and you’re starting to see the fruits now. The team is getting to a level where they can compete and push Mamelodi Sundowns, not only in cups but in the league as well.”

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The season could get even sweeter for Zinnbauer and Davids, who have a chance of completing a league and cup double. Raja have a semifinal clash against MC Oujda in the Moroccan Throne Cup on June 25.

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