Absa Premiership

Phungwayo: Bucs have found stability and unity

2017-04-18 12:13
Patrick Phungwayo (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - Orlando Pirates defender Patrick Phungwayo says the players are responding well to head coach Kjell Jonevret and have become a more solid unit under the Swede. 

With Jonevret's arrival at the club in February, Pirates have enjoyed an upturn in fortunes, and in eight matches, they have lost just once.

And after winning three of their last four games, Bucs have reached the Nedbank Cup quarter-finals while also moving up to ninth position on the league table, just a point outside of the top eight.

Having suffered a few heavy defeats earlier in the season, the Sea Robbers also seem to have tightened up their defence and have only conceded once in the last there outings.

"If you look at our system and the way we play‚ it’s more about stability and being a unit‚" Phungwayo told the Sowetan.

"And I think that's what the coach wants to implement. It's like‚ 'Guys‚ once you are a unit no team can score‚ or it's not going to be easy for them..

"But now I feel like we are fine with what the coach is implementing. And we're trying to implement it now so that next season it's going to be easy when we start playing," the 29-year-old left-back added.

The former Bidvest Wits defender says that Jonevret has managed to create an excellent balance of hard work and enjoyment.

"We're having fun. We've seen the hard side‚ of course‚ of the coach. Like anybody who comes with being fun‚ he wants you to appreciate it being fun," Phungwayo explained.

"And I think we owe it to him‚ too‚ to deliver. The coach is not a person who is going to want to put us under pressure.

"But of course‚ as players we know what it means to play for Orlando Pirates‚ so we want to win games.

"The new coach is a very interesting person‚ very calm‚ he's a good motivator. And as you can see the team is coming together OK so far," he added.

Apart from the Nedbank Cup, the main aim is to secure a top eight finish this season, says Phungwayo.

"We've reached the next round of the Nedbank‚ so we want to end on a high.

"We're excited about it. Because we've promised ourselves that we need to finish in the top eight. Pirates is a big team. We cannot be out of the top eight. We can't afford that," he added.

Read more on:    orlando ­pirates  |  psl  |  patrick phungwayo  |  soccer


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