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Ncikazi hails Pirates' fighting spirit

Fadlu Davids and Mandla Ncikazi

Orlando Pirates interim co-coach Mandla Ncikazi praised his side's fighting spirit to come from behind to beat Chippa United at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Gqeberha.

The Buccaneers came from a goal down to secure all three points following their 3-1 victory over the Chilli Boys through goals by Tshegofatso Mabasa, Abel Mabaso and Goodman Mosele.

Pirates are now place fourth in the league standings level on eight points with SuperSport United and Stellenbosch FC, while Chippa have dropped to 10th place on the log with four points from four matches.

Ncikazi admits that his side's defence needs improvements after conceding the opening goal but praised his side for not dropping their heads as they came back to score three goals. 

"Not the best of starts," Ncikazi told SuperSport TV.

"Very clumsy but I understand the processes where we are a team that is going through some transformation. Change in leadership, we can't run away from that. We're tweaking a few things but at the same time we were struggling with scoring goals.

"For a team that conceded that early in the match to come back and score three goals we could have scored further. I'm just happy for the effort from the team, the fighting spirit, the team work. Though the game was not pleasing on the eye. But it's only the early stages of the season. Fourth game. You don't expect the team to change so quickly. But the effort from the team I can't fault that, performance not too pleasing.

"We knew how Gavin set up. We knew he was going to play on the counter. With the formation of playing Mahlambi and Sekotlong the speedy players and he was placing them wide in between our centre-backs and the fullbacks and he wanted to go on the break. I think we just failed to do a simple defensive tactic. We have worked for quite some time on a rest defence for our team but we were caught in the same place. We can do better in that regard. But the fighting back, we didn't drop our heads, we kept on pushing. I'm just happy we made progress and we know what are our deficiencies are.

"Our sixes and number eights have a very critical role to play especially when you play against a team that wants to play on the counter. Again if the team builds from the back and we counter-press, one of them has to jump and join the attack. They do that very well. And they compliment each other very well. And for Mosele, someone who just came from another club, he's getting there. I just want us to improve a bit on possession. A bit of Pirates imposing their game. I don't think we did that part well today. It's a work in progress."