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Telkom Knockout Cup: Orlando Pirates on an upward trajectory – Mokwena

12:30 GMT 03/11/2019
Rhulani Mokwena, coach of Orlando Pirates, October 2019
The Buccaneers manager is confident his men are able to move past the defeat of Amakhosi

Orlando Pirates coach Rhulani Mokwena has allayed fears his team is under pressure and in a crisis, preferring to say they are on an upward trajectory.

The Buccaneers manager has failed to lead the club to the semi-finals of the Telkom Knockout Cup as they lost 4-2 on penalties to bitter rivals Kaizer Chiefs on Saturday afternoon.

Moreover, the 34-year-old is now trying to lead the Soweto giants to a win as they welcome in-form Maritzburg United on Tuesday night in the Premier Soccer League (PSL).

“If you look at basically the results and not consider penalties then you will understand that out of the last five games we have won two, drawn two and only lost one,” Mokwena told the media as quoted by Phakaaathi .

“Now if that is not an upward trajectory and you don’t see that as progress, then I don’t know what is. No team can win each and every game.

“Let’s put things into perspective here. Let’s look at Pirates’ last five games including this one. This one (we play) Kaizer Chiefs, we lose on penalties.

"In the game against Highlands Park at Makhulong Stadium where Pirates have not been able to pick up full points, and for the first time we collected three points.

“We lost to Stellenbosch in a game we shouldn’t, where we created close to 32 chances at goal and we should have scored. Okay, the final score is what matters, we lost that one.

“Then you got to the Stellenbosch game that we won – we won 1-0. Then you go to the Cape Town City game where we were 2-0 down and we came back – making it 2-2 and took the lead at 3-2 but then, in the end, we drew the match 3-3.”

Meanwhile, Mokwena will be up against the Team of Choice that is high in confidence after beating the Lions of the North on Friday night and he added that he has stabilized the Sea Robbers’ ship.

“From where we come from, where we were conceding goals, losing matches week in and week out, we have managed to stabilize the ship,” he continued.

“So, there is a lot of progress, there is a lot of positives and that is what we want to focus on. We don’t feel the pressure, we don’t feel the crisis.

"Ours is to make sure now, which is important because we have proven that we can win games, what is important now is to find consistency and win two games, three games and four games in a row - and that is what we focus on.”