ORLANDO Pirates dribbling wizard Thabo “Section 10” Qalinge is hoping to get more game-time this season, having recovered from a knee injury.

Qalinge is optimistic that he will make a return to Pirates’ starting lineup when they play Chippa United in an Absa Premiership match at Port Elizabeth’s Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium tonight (7.30pm). Chippa have not been able to win a match in their last seven outings.

The 25-year-old midfielder says working hard will be the key to reaching the starting XI


Said Qalinge: “Competition at the club is tough and I don’t want to use injury as an excuse. Injuries are always there.

“This season I am looking forward to playing more games, improving on the past two seasons, where I was not getting enough game-time because of my injuries. When I get the chance I will give my best.”

The Buccaneers registered their third league win of the season in eight outings on Saturday when they defeated Free State Stars 1-0 at Orlando Stadium. It was Augusto Palacios’ second victory since taking over as caretaker coach.

Going into the Chippa game Palacios said they would need to bury their opponents, capitalising on early chances to kill off the game.

“We are improving with every game we play but can still do better. We have capable players.

“Going forward we must put in more hard work up-front. Our wingers are creating a lot of goal-scoring opportunities but we are struggling a bit to convert those chances,” said Palacios.

Beleaguered Chilli Boys will be hoping to make home ground advantage count for them. They defeated Bucs 2-0 at the same venue at the end of last season.


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