Mkhalele: Pirates Were Hungry
Pirates Legend Discusses This Season's Changes
Former Orlando Pirates midfielder Helman Mkhalele has shared his opinion on the team’s start to the new campaign.
Pirates had a season to forget in 2016/17, having finished outside of the top eight for the first time in the PSL era, but, having opened the season with a home win against Chippa United and a draw away to Baroka FC, Mkhalele believes that there has been a notable change in the way that the team has played, so far.
“I saw some very big changes in the team,” he told Soccer Laduma. “In the games they’ve played, you could see that they were hungry. The fighting spirit was there for the players, individually and collectively.”
Mkhalele did have some reservations, however, saying that the team’s fitness is still not up to scratch, but added that he expects the fitness levels to reach an optimal level in time.
“I saw how they worked so hard, right up until the 70th minute,” he continued. “But then I felt that the level of fitness that they need was not yet there. Last season, they weren’t as fit as is expected of them, but, this time around, I could see that it’s just the beginning of the season and it’s coming through from last season. They are just going to need a few more games to reach that high level of fitness.”
Pirates now have a short break, with the team only playing again on 12 September, at home, against Ajax Cape Town.