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Orlando Pirates supporters deserve the win over Chippa United - Mokwena

22:19 GMT+3 14/09/2019
Rulani Mokwena, Orlando Pirates, July 2019
The Soweto giants’ boss has shared his impressions on how his charges managed to secure their first win under his guidance

Orlando Pirates coach Rulani Mokwena has downplayed talks that he is the right man to lead the Buccaneers, preferring to say the club comes before him.

The young coach was speaking following their 2-1 win over Chippa United at Orlando Stadium on Saturday afternoon after a brace from Tshegofatso Mabasa.

Moreover, the coach explained his gamble on introducing Thabiso Monyane as they looked to exploit the Chilli Boys' weaknesses on the wings.

"It was a good game, first half lot of control but not without verticality, lacking a bit of width because the opposition sits very narrow. If you also come in narrow with your attack then it allows them to reinforce their block, so it becomes very difficult," Mokwena told SuperSport TV.

"We made the gamble to bring in the younger one, Thabiso [Monyane] to give us width, a little bit of speed so that we can find width also from the side of [Mzikayise] Mashaba. But credit to the players, not easy after the Fifa break. A really job well done from the players."

On the other hand, Mokwena also praised the fighting spirit shown by his players, whom he believes left their sweat and blood on the park

"We wanted to bring in a [defensive] change of Alfred [Ndengane] but sometimes you send a wrong message with the change of a centre-back,” he continued.

“Unfortunately, when they started playing with the two Manzinis, that is Lerato and Rhulani, we were only left with [Ntsikelelo] Nyauza staying close to Happy [Jele]. We knew we were going to have a challenge aerially, with them pumping balls into the box for the two strikers.

“Our response was to put another centre-back, but these things happen. All these boys not only left blood and sweat on the field but also left a piece of their skin on the pitch, credit to them."

In addition, the Buccaneers have managed to end their six-match winless run in all competitions, but the former Mamelodi Sundowns assistant coach made it clear that it was not about him -the team comes first.

"It's not about Rhulani Mokwena, it’s about Orlando Pirates. Rhulani Mokwena counts for zero, the supporters deserve it. These boys deserve it, they work extremely hard," he expressed.

"Pirates are lucky to have such honest players. You don't find that a lot, when you find players who leave blood, sweat, and skin on the pitch, then you have a bright future ahead of you."