Orlando Pirates head coach Josef Zinnbauer has explained why striker Jean-Marc Makusu was a notable absentee for the Buccaneers despite the club having no recognized striker on the field in their last two games.
The Congolese striker, who has a stellar goal-scoring record, was roped in by Pirates on loan from AS Vita Club in November last year to ease some of the burden placed on the shoulders of last season’s top goal scorer Gabadinho Mhango.
However, three months later and the 28-year-old has made just four appearances for Pirates, all as a sub, and despite Pirates’ lack of recognized strikers on the field, was only introduced in the last 20 minutes of their one-all draw against TS Galaxy on Tuesday.
Speaking to the media after the match, coach Zinnbauer has explained why Makusu has been a peripheral figure for Pirates since joining the club.
"In the last game Lorch had a good performance and he could have scored, and Jean-Marc is not here for a long time. He has worked on the system and worked on the conditioning and you saw it today, it wasn’t easy for him to come in. But, he’s getting more time and we have to give him, but for us, it is important that he gets minutes. I don’t know when his next game will be. We’ll see what happens with the other players, one of the other strikers could come back," Zinnbauer said.
The player meanwhile recently sent a veiled message to Pirates, reminding them of what he is capable of delivering when he took to Twitter to share a reel of his goals, along with the caption ‘I’m still the same’
Makusu’s message could be in response to Pirates’ goal-scoring woes that has seen them score just two goals in their last four matches, something that is an area of concern heading into the weekend’s Soweto derby.
With game time proving hard to come by, Makusu is working against the clock to convince Pirates that he is deserving of a permanent deal with the Soweto giants.