Mbekile and Mabaso told to work harder
Out of all nine signings that Orlando Pirates made before the start of the season, only Abel Mabaso, Asavela Mbekile and the injured Brilliant Khuzwayo are yet to feature in an official match for the club.
Speaking on the sidelines of the Telkom Knockout draw at SuperSport studios in Randburg on Monday, Pirates coach Milutin "Micho" Sredojevic hinted that both Mbekile and Mabaso have not convinced the technical team they should be considered for first-team action.
"Two of them are [the] same. Like all other 25 players, they are fighting for places in the team. Once they are ready to answer to our demands, they will be there," said Sredojevic.
The Buccaneers were pitted against Chippa United at home in the last 16 of the TKO, which will be played on the weekend of October 20-21.
Sredojevic sounded confident that by the start of the competition, Mabaso and Mbekile would be in contention to make their debuts.
"We are approaching the Telkom Cup. If they continue to knock on the door, they might have a chance to get some game time in this tournament. There is still the CAF Champions League and later on the Nedbank Cup.
"Those are the competitions where we are looking to have them once they are satisfying the criteria and standard that we have put in for each and every player at the club."
For the Buccaneers, their TKO clash against the Chilli Boys may be an ideal curtain-raiser for the Soweto derby against Kaizer Chiefs on October 27. But Sredojevic insists they'll not be thinking about Chiefs when they play Chippa.
"We have the highest degree of respect for Chippa. I know that the Soweto derby is the biggest game of the season but it is important to take it one game at a time," he said.