• Zinnbauer praises Hotto while revealing positional change

    Orlando Pirates coach Josef Zinnbauer has praised the positive influence of Deon Hotto, saying that since he was moved into central- forward position he is always involved when they score.

    The forward is looking likely to play that role again when the Sea Robbers face Mamelodi Sundowns on Thursday evening with a place in the Nedbank Cup semi-finals, against TTM, on the line.

    With both teams battling a congested fixture schedule a number of first-team regulars will be missing for the clash.

    It thus looks likely that the Nambian international will play up front in the clash with Downs after receiving high praise from the Pirates boss in the buildup.

    ‘Hotto influences the team very well,’ said Zinnbauer.

    ‘He can play different positions. Now he has a new position – he’s a striker now. When you look at our previous games in the MTN8, in the league, in the Confederation Cup and even in this Nedbank Cup, you see the assists he has,’ the German added.

    ‘Hotto is always involved when we score. We’re very happy that we have a player like him. But you need the entire team to win games. If you don’t play as a team you won’t go anywhere – there will be no positive performances for individuals like Hotto if you do not play as a team.’

    The German added that while they are looking to add to the MTN8 title they won earlier this season, he knows they are coming up against what he calls the best team in the country.

    ‘We know we have a good squad, we have players who can win titles. But we are honest, we are playing against the best team in the country at the moment,’ he said.

    ‘This is not so easy to manage for journalists or supporters or people outside. I walk on the street and people say‚ “You’ve to win the Nedbank”. Yes‚ I’d happy if we win the Nedbank, but it’s a long way to go and we’re playing against Sundowns.’