Jonevret brings out best in Oupa
THE level of performance coach Kjell Jonevret has been able to get out of Orlando Pirates and Oupa Manyisa in particular, has been truly impressive.
Coincidentally or not, Jonevret has been using more or less the same formation which made Manyisa the midfield maestro he was admired for. The Bucs captain appears to have regained his confidence and has looked relaxed under Jonevret, knowing his exact role and finding himself out of position less frequently.
He has lost his inhibitions of recent months, when the Buccaneers went 13 matches without a league victory, which included the crushing 6-0 defeat to Mamelodi Sundowns.
The influence of senior players cannot be discounted in any setup and the importance of the captain’s role has certainly not been lost on Manyisa.
The diminutive midfielder is to lead the Buccaneers against Bloemfontein Celtic in the Nedbank Cup quarterfinal at Orlando stadium tomorrow.
“When I arrived, everybody said that Oupa has been a little bit down, his form not good,” Jonevret said.
“I think he has been a key player for the team in the last five, six, seven games that I’ve been here now. He is important for us. He does a lot of work in defence and is comfortable on the ball. He is an important guy for the team.”
Manyisa has seen Pirates’ season unravel as their downward spiral continued this season, the 2-1 league loss to Celtic underlining the extent of the depths of despair into which they had plunged.
But it’s certainly going to be a different Bucs side that will face Celtic tomorrow night, a team revived under Jonevret and eager to end the season on a positive note.
“Orlando Pirates still pose a threat even though they have had a poor run this season,” Celtic midfielder Lyle Lakay said. “They have won their last two games if I’m not mistaken and the key players in their team are also picking up their game.”
REJUVENATED: Orlando Pirates skipper Oupa Manyisa.