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By Tshepo Ntsoelengoe

Football Journalist

‘Pirates must go back to where they belong’ – Ncikazi

Pirates sauntered into the last 16 round of the Nedbank Cup after beating All Stars.

With a spot in the next round of the Nedbank Cup secured, Orlando Pirates assistant coach Mandla Ncikazi revealed that the team’s main objective is to ensure that they get back to playing in Caf club competitions next season.

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The Bucs assistant coach emphasised that playing in either the Caf Confederation Cup or the Caf Champions League is the team’s priority this season.

Pirates increased their chances of getting back to continental competition when they edged All Stars FC 2-0 at the Wits Football Stadium on Saturday to go into the last 16 of the Ke Yona Cup.

The Soweto giants are aiming to winning the Nedbank Cup, which guarantees in the Confederation Cup, especially with the race for a second place and third place finish in the DStv Premiership looking extremely intense at the moment.

Bucs are in fourth place on thestandings with 28 points, three points behind third placed Richards Bay FC for the Confederation Cup spot and four points behind second-placed SuperSport United.

Nickazi emphasized the need for the club to do well and says injuries in the team have been derailing their progress.

“Pirates must go back to where they belong. Pirates belong in the Champions League and winning trophies. That’s the challenge that we want to overcome. We must get back to that. Injuries haven’t been kind, but like other teams, we are working on that,” Ncikazi said after the All Stars match.

Meanwhile, while Pirates managed to get a victory against All Stars, they had to finish the game without head coach Jose Riveiro on the bench, after he was sent off by referee Xola Sitela. Ncikazi says he wasn’t exactly sure what led to the red card and he didn’t get an explanation from the match officials.

“I am not exactly sure what happened to the coach. I tried to speak to the officials. But I think their protocol doesn’t allow them to speak,” the Bucs assistant added.

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The Buccaneers have to shift their focus back to the league now, with a clash against Maritzburg United at the Orlando Stadium on Friday.

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