Pirates had been hoping to claim a second successive win in the Limpopo province this week following Wednesday’s 3-0 victory over Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila.
Against a Leopards side which started the day bottom-of-the-table, Pirates would have been favourites going into the match. But they never really got out of the blocks with any intensity and paid the price as Lidoda Duvha scored twice in the opening stanza.
"We in the first half were not on the field. We played a little bit but not enough to win a game,” Zinnbauer told Pirates TV.
"It's important against a team in a relegation place, you need aggressiveness. You need a sign for the opponent - there's nothing to get today.
“This is what we made not in the first half. We had some options in the offence, but in the defence we were not aggressive.”
The German says that his men should have done more to stamp their authority on proceedings straight from the kick off; having not done that, Leopards were allowed to grow in confidence.
"The transition was too slow, my feeling was [from the players] - 'we win the game, it's easy here'.
“But this is not possible. The warm-up was all good, but then you need the signal before they (Leopards) come, and today it was not enough to win a game like this. I am very disappointed.
"You see the players fighting in the second half, but at this time it is too late, You have to score earlier and then its possible. They work, they run, they fight for the second half but it was not enough and we lose the game in the first half,” the coach added.
Since returning from the Christmas break, Pirates have lost two, won one and drawn one match, which has seen them slipping down to fifth spot with 17 points from 11 matches.
Next up for them is a home match against an unbeaten Golden Arrows side at the Orlando Stadium on Wednesday evening. The Durban side is one point and one place above Bucs and also have a game in hand.
It’s potentially a crucial game for the Sea Robbers if they do not want to be cast too far adrift of PSL pacesetters Mamelodi Sundowns and Swallows FC, who are eight points above Bucs.
"We have to work now on [getting] the heads up and prepare the guys for Wednesday, also a big game for us, same area like us at the moment on the table and you have to win three points,” Zinnabauer said.