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Bidvest Wits vs Orlando Pirates: Mokwena’s biggest test as interim coach

Goal explains why Bucs’ clash with the Clever Boys at Moses Mabhida Stadium could make or break Mokwena’s career

Orlando Pirates interim coach Rulani Mokwena is set for his biggest challenge since he took over the reins at the Soweto giants.

The young tactician endured a difficult start as he failed to win his first four competitive matches in charge of the team.

A 2-1 victory over Chippa United last weekend has eased the pressure on Mokwena, who is in his first job in top-flight football as a head coach.

Pirates’ next match is against perennial PSL title contenders Bidvest Wits in a game which will headline this weekend’s league action.

Goal explains why the encounter could make or break Mokwena’s career:

Biggest Test

Wits have had a good start to the current season recording three victories out of four league matches while keeping two clean sheets in the process.

The Clever Boys have proved to be fast starters under their accomplished coach Gavin Hunt and they are difficult to defeat at this stage of the season.

The Braamfontein-based side secured a 1-0 win over Pirates at this stage of the campaign last season in order to establish themselves as the early pacesetters in the title race.

Mokwena knows he is facing a mammoth task against one of the best coaches in the country, Hunt, who is hoping to win his fifth PSL title this season.

Momentum Is Key

It is imperative for Mokwena to keep the momentum going after guiding the four-time PSL champions to a much-needed victory over Chippa win.

A victory over Wits will surely propel Pirates in the direction and help instil a sense of belief in the players as the team looks to mount a serious challenge for the PSL title.

On top of that, many felt the former Mamelodi Sundowns academy coach wasn’t ready to lead a big club like Pirates when he was appointed coach on an interim basis last month.

A second successive victory would silence the sceptics. On the other hand, an away draw against a potential title rival would give Mokwena more time to steer the team in the right direction.

Defeat Could Be Costly

A defeat against Wits could prove costly for Mokwena’s budding coaching career as it would return the pressure on the former Platinum Stars assistant coach.

The pressure would also mount on the Pirates management to make a decision regarding Mokwena’s future with the club. 

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