Orlando Pirates head coach Josef Zinnbauer has come out in defence of his midfielder Fortune Makaringe, who has come under fire from a faction of the club’s passionate fans.
Pirates’ underwhelming performances, which has seen them accumulate just five points out of the possible 15, have brought some of the club’s big-name players under the spotlight, with some ardent fans taking to social media to question players’ constant selection in their underperforming team.
One such player is Makaringe, who has largely failed to impress the Bucs faithful, with many questioning his constant selection in team, as well as his actual position.
However, speaking to the media in his post-match press conference, Zinnbauer leapt to his defence, labelling the 27-year-old as one of Pirates’ most important players.
“Fortune is a player, as you saw today, who can run for 90 minutes in a row. Ben (Motshwari) is the same, but at the moment we need both players on the field until this game. You saw the pass to Hotto came from Fortune and he has a lot of good opportunities for a final pass or he also has opportunities to score and shoot,” Zinnbauer told journalists.
“This is a player who gives us a lot of things. He has structure in the game. He can play a lot of positions and he is important for us. He is a player who is 100 percent fit most of the time, he has no problems with his muscles or endurance. He’s a good player for us and I am happy that I have him. But normally, he also needs a break but at the moment, we need him on the field,” he explained.
So far this season, Makaringe has made 17 appearances for Pirates in all competitions, 15 of them was in the starting XI, while he has featured as a sub on two occasions. He has chipped in with two goals for Zinnbauer’s side.
Click through the gallery to see who makes up Ramahlwe Mphahlele’s dream team.