'Micho must groom strikers'

Ntsikelelo Nyauza and Thamsanqa Sangweni of Orlando Pirates during the Orlando Pirates Training on the 17 August 2017 at Rand Stadium. Picture: Sydney Mahlangu /BackpagePix
Ntsikelelo Nyauza and Thamsanqa Sangweni of Orlando Pirates during the Orlando Pirates Training on the 17 August 2017 at Rand Stadium. Picture: Sydney Mahlangu /BackpagePix

Former Orlando Pirates striker Thulasizwe Mbuyane believes the Buccaneers should cut their overdependence on forward Thamsanqa Gabuza.

Pirates are going through a slump in form after an initial bright start under Serbian coach Milutin "Micho" Sredojevic. They are winless in their last four games, with three draws and one loss in the league.

Gabuza has played in eight of their nine league games this season with the other strikers Thabiso Kutumela, Lyle Foster, Ayanda Nkosi and Justin Shonga playing an auxiliary role. Mbuyane wants Micho to empower Kutumela and Foster to be able to lead the Sea Robbers attack in the future.

"They can't expect Gabuza to contribute all the goals, that's too much of a pressure. Others must also chip in. The coach must change things up a bit and try different combinations with the strikers," Mbuyane said.

The Soweto giants will face Golden Arrows in the Telkom Knockout first round at Princess Magogo Stadium on Saturday (3.30pm).

The former goal poacher affectionately known as "Juju" expects Pirates to come back refreshed against Arrows after the goalless derby clash with Kaizer Chiefs at the weekend.

"It's a tricky encounter because Arrows have been doing well, while on the other hand Pirates are rebuilding," he said.

Mbuyane has backed Micho as the right man to get Pirates back on track this season.

"I still talk with the guys like Lucky Lekgwathi and they speak highly of Micho.

"They say that he is the type of coach who supports players 100%. He just needs a little bit of time. The players seem willing to fight for him as well, that's good."

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