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Mokwena: Orlando Pirates are learning to become winners

2:59 PM GMT+8 29/08/2019
Rulani Mokwena, Orlando Pirates, July 2019
The young tactician feels Bucs remain the same team which challenged for last season's PSL title

Orlando Pirates caretaker coach Rulani Mokwena lauded his charges for sticking to their game plan against Lamontville Golden Arrows on Wednesday night.

The Buccaneers dominated their PSL clash against Abafana Bes'thende, but the two teams drew 0-0 at Orlando Stadium.

Mokwena praised Arrows, who had adopted a defensive approach under experienced coach Steve Komphela.

"After a game like this, what do you say? Credit to the boys for sticking to the gameplan," Mokwena told SuperSport TV.

"Credit to the boys for being tactically superior today. It's not an easy opponent to play against. It's a well-coached team. They are very fluid in how they move from one phase to another."

The Buccaneers extended their winless run to six matches across all competitions, but Mokwena feels his charges are learning to become winners.

"They try to be very aggressive with their strikers, pulling them into wide play. We were brave though. Happy (Jele) was brave, (Innocent) Maela was brave. It's a Pirates which is learning what it takes to be winners," he continued.

The 34-year-old mentor went on to ask the Pirates faithful to remain patient as he looks to turn the Soweto giants' fortunes around.

"All we can do is go back and work even harder. And you have to ask what is God teaching me? The biggest thing I would say is patience," said Mokwena.

"The goals are eluding us. We are hitting the crossbar every day. We are getting into the final third. But it will come. We just have to continue and keep believing."

The highly-rated tactician is looking to work on Pirates players' confidence during the upcoming Fifa break.

"This is the same team which challenged for the title last season. It is the same squad of players which pushed (Mamelodi) Sundowns all the way," he added.

"The same squad of players that went almost 22 games unbeaten. So we got faith, we believe in them, they know we believe in them. And they need to just get that one win and we will turn things around.

"I wish all the internationals would stay behind. We lose a couple of internationals, but it is a very, very needed Fifa break. We want to work on a lot of things and rebuild confidence."

Pirates' next game will be a league clash against Bidvest Wits at Bidvest Stadium on Saturday, September 21.