Orlando Pirates’ Monare declares ‘if it gets ugly, we match it’ after labouring to beat Maritzburg United

Thabang Monare, Orlando Pirates, January 2021
The Soweto giants held on to their slender lead against the Team of Choice to bounce back to winning ways

Orlando Pirates midfielder Thabang Monare has commended his side’s “hard work and exceptional teamwork” as he feels they are on “the right path” after edging Maritzburg United 1-0 in a Premier Soccer League clash on Saturday, to recover from dropping points in two prior matches.

Pirates arrived in Kwa-Zulu Natal on the backdrop of winning one match in five previous games, a run which earned them just five points out of a possible 15.

But after more questions started being asked about their title credentials, especially in their last two games in which they lost 2-0 to relegation candidates Black Leopards and drew 0-0 with Golden Arrows, the Buccaneers responded with an away win.

“Credit to the boys, we worked as a team. We do have those games where it gets ugly and if it get ugly we match it,” Monare told Pirates’ media.

“I feel like we are on the right path and once again credit to the boys for the hard work that we put in and exceptional teamwork. I don’t really have much words to say about the hard work we put in but it was just brilliant.”

From the recent matches where they struggled for three points, there were fears that Pirates could continue on a downward spiral and lose track of leaders Mamelodi Sundowns, who are now six points better off than them.

“It was very important [to win] especially after dropping two points [against Arrows] at home. Sometimes I honestly feel like we do need the luck,” added Monare.

“Obviously luck comes with hard work. Work for your luck, the harder you work, the luckier you become.

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"So I think in our previous games we just didn’t have a little bit of luck. I feel we created more chances than Golden Arrows but today we got a chance and we buried it and we got three points and now going back home.”

Saturday’s victory saw Pirates climbing two rungs up to fourth spot but could slide a place down if the match between Cape Town City and Golden Arrows produces a winner on Sunday.

Josef Zinnbauer’s Bucs now prepare host TS Galaxy in their next league match on Tuesday.