When Kjell Jonevret was announced as the new Orlando Pirates head coach on the 20th of February 2017, he inherited a team that was low on confidence and it has been difficult for him to turn things around.
The Soweto giants were enduring a difficult spell - going nine matches without victory. The team was leaking goals and caretaker coach Augusto Palacios was believed to have lost the dressing room.
One of the first things Jonevret did upon his arrival was to lift the dressing room by galvanising the squad in order to restore their confidence following a tumultuous period under Muhsin Ertugral and Palacios.
The calm tactician was unhappy with the structure of the team - which had conceded six goals in a match twice this season. So, improving Pirates' defensive structure was one of his top priorities in his first few weeks.
The Buccaneers looked organized at the back in the coach's first four competitive matches - recording three successive league draws against Polokwane City, SuperSport United and Kaizer Chiefs.
His side was then expected to beat lower division side EC Bees in the Nedbank Cup and they did just that - defeating the ABC Motsepe club 3-1 to book their place in the last 16 in March.
But their 3-2 away defeat to Free State Stars in a PSL match which was Jonevret's first loss followed in April, and he was disappointed at the team's defensive performance. He had to find a way to solve Bucs' leaky defence which had conceded in each of his first four matches.
His solution was to deploy two defensive midfielders in Issa Sarr and Abbubaker Mobara, who were entrusted with protecting the Bucs back four, while Oupa Manyisa was given an advanced role just behind the main striker.
A change to a 4-2-3-1 formation yielded positive results as Bucs went on a six-match unbeaten run in all competitions. The four-time PSL champions recorded four victories and two draws - with the team also enjoying a good run in the Nedbank Cup, reaching the semi-finals in the process.
However, Jonevret's biggest test since taking over the team came when he faced the two favourites for this season's PSL title, Bidvest Wits and Mamelodi Sundowns, within the space of four days. The Swede admitted that his improved side was the underdogs, but he accepted the challenge.
Jonevret's side lost both games - 1-0 away and 2-0 at home to Wits and Sundowns respectively as their six-match unbeaten run came to an end. It was the defeat to the reigning African and PSL champions, Sundowns, that gave Jonevret a reality check.
Pirates' attacking department is a concern this season and they do not have the quality to break down a defence as formidable as that of Sundowns. It is back to the drawing board for Jonevret and his technical team.
Jonevret, who has indicated that his side lack quality in the striking department, will have to find solutions but he must make use of what he has at his disposal in the remaining matches of the season.
Bucs are facing the risk of finishing outside the top eight for the first time in the PSL era, but it is still in their hands as they will take on tenth-placed Lamontville Golden Arrows and eighth-placed Ajax Cape Town in their remaining games.
Jonevret's charges also have a chance to end this season on a good note as they will face Arrows in the Nedbank Cup semi-finals on Saturday. It's an opportunity to finish the season with silverware, before revamping the squad and planning for the 2017/18 campaign.