Orlando Pirates co-coach Fadlu Davids has admitted that their constant injury issues are unusual but believes they have a big enough squad to deal with the absentees, adding that other players will now have to grab their chances.
For the past two seasons the Sea Robbers have seemingly never had a fully fit squad. At the moment, frontline players Thembinkosi Lorch, Ben Motshwari, Innocent Maela, and Richard Ofori are out of action. Last season, long-term and or repeated injuries to Zakhele Lepasa and Tshegofatsho Mabasa played a massive role in the struggles in front of goal, which seems to have spilled over to this campaign.
The Buccaneers will be looking to get back to winning ways when they face Sekhukhune United on Tuesday afternoon. Davids insists their squad are big enough to deal with the missing players, pointing out Linda Mntambo’s latest resurgence as an example of other players looking to force their way into the team.
“Look, we can’t complain. We’ve got a big enough squad and we have to trust the entire squad,” Mandla Ncikazi’s co-coach said.
“Yes, it’s unusual that last season we had, as an example Mabasa with a fracture to his one foot. He came back and had the exact same fracture on the opposite foot, came back and again the same fracture on the first foot.
“That just shows really the luck we have had in terms of injuries. Also Lorch missing a big part of last season and having no real strikers available.
“Ja, it’s a little bit unlucky at the moment where you take Maela, Lorch, Ofori — really starting lineup players. Ben Motshwari is out.
“I think any team that has six, seven frontline players unavailable would not be on their best run.
“But we cannot complain. We have to trust, and a clear example is Linda Mntambo. The opportunity is there, he put up his hand, and he’s performing consistently.
“He has to work, he has to improve but that is what we’ve got to do — put our trust in our squad, and that’s exactly what we are doing at the moment.
“Yes, the young ones — Simiso Bophela, Boitumelo Radiopane — are all doing well in the MDC [reserve team].
“But it’s an unusual situation. We don’t complain. We move we look forward and we will get it right.”
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