Relief as Bucs make top eight

BATTLING IT OUT: Chippa United captain Thamsanqa Sangweni, left, and Oupa Manyisa, of Orlando Pirates, during their Absa Premiership match at the Orlando Stadium at the weekend

Jonevret satisfied team is showing progress after 2-1 win over Chippa

It has been a good week for Orlando Pirates with two wins and a draw from three games, which has seen them finally make a breakthrough into the top-eight bracket on the log.

Following their 2-1 win over Chippa United at the Orlando Stadium on Saturday‚ the Buccaneers remain far from perfect as they can barely control a game for 90 minutes and concede in critical phases having done most of the hard work.

But coach Kjell Jonevret believes the building blocks are beginning to fall into place as Bucs try to finish as high in the Absa Premiership as they can in their commemorative 80th season.

Jonevret said that after a 2-1 extra-time Nedbank Cup quarterfinal win against Bloemfontein Celtic‚ a decidedly unconvincing 1-1 PSL draw against Baroka FC on Wednesday and then a decent enough win against Chippa‚ Pirates could not be too hard on themselves.

“We were not too happy after the game on Wednesday. But we talked about that we should try to step up a bit‚ try to defend and be more aggressive, because Chippa are a good football team‚” Jonevret said.

“And I think the first half was really good. We had a lot of chances. We could have scored‚ or maybe we should have scored one or two more.

“But‚ if I can call it the critical phases, when we have 1-0 then we need to close it down a bit.

“And we can’t open up and give them that goal – it was a silly one. And then it’s a new game again in the second half.

“Because had we had 1-0 at half time they would probably have played a lot higher on us‚ and we would have had a lot more chances.

“But it’s like this right now for us. Maybe in the best of worlds we should have closed this one with 2-0 or even 3-0, but they were close in the end.

“So it was a tough one again. But we won‚ and I think we deserved to.

“And we are in the top eight‚ although there is still a lot of football.

“But in the end‚ we won‚ and it’s a good week again‚ with two wins and a draw. So we can’t be too sad. Now we’re going play two games where it’s going to be much tougher. But maybe nobody expects us to win against Wits away and Sundowns at home‚ and we like it like that also. “But I’m happy. Top eight, that’s good.” Pirates went to eighth place‚ on goal difference from Lamontville Golden Arrows‚ with their win against Chippa.

They meet third-placed Bidvest Wits at the Bidvest Stadium on Thursday‚ then host PSL leaders and defending champions Sundowns at Orlando on Sunday.

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