The Buccaneers have conceded six goals twice in 2016-17 – in a 6-1 defeat against SuperSport United in November and a record 6-0 against Mamelodi Sundowns in February.
Those results were the shock to the system that have led to the demise of Jonevret’s two predecessors‚ Muhsin Ertugral and Augusto Palacios‚ and a chronic loss of confidence at Pirates that saw them plunge into the bottom half.
Jonevret has lost one game in eight‚ with three wins and four draws.
Two of the victories have come in the Nedbank Cup‚ where they are into the quarterfinals to meet Bloemfontein Celtic.
For a side that had gone 12 league games without a win‚ it’s an improvement with defensive structure the most notable area that Bucs have worked on.
“Now‚ if you look at our system and the way we play‚ it’s more about stability and being a unit‚” Phungwayo‚ who has generally been Jonevret’s preferred choice at left-back‚ said.
“And I think that’s what the coach wants to implement.
“It’s like‚ ‘Guys‚ once you are a unit no team can score‚ or it’s not going to be easy for them’.
“When we lost six‚ I don’t think we were that compact as a team.
“When we lost against SuperSport you could say it was a very different method that we used.
“But now I feel like we are fine with what the coach is implementing.
“And we’re trying to implement it now so that next season it’s going to be easy when we start playing.
“So‚ ja‚ we’re having fun.
“We’ve seen the hard side‚ of course‚ of the coach.
“Like anybody who comes with being fun‚ he wants you to appreciate it being fun.
“And I think we owe it to him‚ too‚ to deliver.
“The coach is not a person who is going to want to put us under pressure.
“But of course‚ as players we know what it means to play for Orlando Pirates‚ so we want to win games.”
Phungwayo said Jonevret has rallied his troops with a personable approach.
“The new coach is a very interesting person‚ very calm‚ he’s a good motivator.
“And as you can see the team is coming together OK so far.
“Since he came in we’ve only lost one game‚ and I think it’s getting there.
“And of course we’ve reached the next round of the Nedbank‚ so we want to end on a high.
“We’re excited about it.
“Because we’ve promised ourselves that we need to finish in the top eight.
“Pirates is a big team.
“We cannot be out of the top eight.
“We can’t afford that.”
Bucs next meet Celtic in their Nedbank quarter on Saturday.
– TMG Digtial/TMG Sport