Why Pirates can Challenge Sundowns claims Marques

Orlando Pirates and Bafana Bafana player Miguel Timm is enjoying his career at the Buccaneers. Image- Darren Stewart

Former Moroko Swallows FC coach Zeca Marques has heaped huge praise on Orlando Pirates’ progress and reckons they can challenge Mamelodi Sundowns for major honours.

Marques most famously guided the Dube Birds to the 2012 MTN8 title triumph, dispatching SuperSport United 2-1 in the final.

Following the Buccaneers’ success in the same competition early in November, Marques made special mention of midfielders Miguel Timm and Philip Ndlondlo who were instrumental in aiding Pirates to the trophy after beating AmaZulu 1-0.

“Yeah, look, I think they’ve analyzed the squad to see where the shortfalls were to bring in players that can add value,” Marques tells ThisIsFootball.Africa.

“And obviously these two players [Timm and Ndlondlo] can make a difference. 

“They [Pirates] have a balanced team and they have depth too. Really good squad. 

Marques believes that there’s a bit of room for new additions during the January transfer window, but in the same breath emphasized Pirates do not buy players for the sake of it. 

Zeca Marques. Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix
Mr Zeca Marques. Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

“But if you want to start challenging Sundowns for more silverware, you need to bring in some players. 

“I think Pirates have a healthy squad. But also what’s the point of buying players you actually don’t need if there’s no crisis? 

“Sure, you must go out and look to replace someone. But when you have a team like Pirates that maybe have got two good players in every department. They  already have depth, the numbers are there, then you have something to work with as a coach. 

“Unless you’re a really special player and you’re going to make a big difference, then obviously as a club you look at it. 

The former Black Leopards coach further added that Pirates could only get better because of the work coach Jose Riveiro has put in behind the scenes which has rubbed off on the players in the way they conduct themselves.  

“I think Pirates is just going to gain momentum. Things are supposed to work out for them. 

“The coach has obviously done a great job. It seems like the ability of the group of players together. 

“If you put a group together, that  they can give you guarantees that they’ll give 100% effort. That they’re professional and that they are ambitious. Then you can achieve something. At the moment, they could be on that path with this squad,” he said.

The Portuguese-born mentor’s previous managerial role was at Tshakuma Tsha Madzhivhandila (TTM) in 2021 though he vacated his post barely a month into the job.

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