Orlando Pirates midfielder Thabo Rakhale believes that they can make a strong comeback in the second round of the 2016/17 Premier Soccer League (PSL) season.
The Buccaneers disappointingly finished 2016 outside the top eight in the league following two consecutive defeats against Maritzburg United and Bloemfontein Celtic.
However, Bucs fan-favourite Rakhale is optimistic that the team will regain their winning form after the current mid-season.
"As Pirates players we know what is expected from us when PSL campaign resumes next month, having had a disappointing finish in our last two games before the festive break," Rakhale told Vodacom Soccer.
"Pirates is a big team with a huge support base, and it's understandable for our supporters to be unhappy with the team's current situation.
"But at the same time we urge them to not lose confidence in the team, because we are working hard and more determined to make a strong comeback in the second round," he continued.
"It's not like we don't feel the pain as they (supporters) do, but it's just a matter of time before we turn the corner and put a smile on their faces.
"Look, with 13 games and two games to play before finishing our first round, I'm much optimistic we have what it takes to turn things around.
Bucs will take on Bidvest Wits in their first league game of the year at the Ellis Park Stadium in Johannesburg on February 3.
"We will have four crucial games when resuming our PSL campaign, against Wits, Platinum Stars, (Mamelodi) Sundowns and Wits again," he added.
"Well, those would be tough encounters in a short space of time, but we can't wait for PSL's resumption to play and die for each other on the field."