Pirates coach Mokwena showers praise on Mabasa

Tshegofatso Mabasa of Orlando Pirates celebrates his second goa during the Absa Premiership match between Orlando Pirates and Chippa United at Orlando Stadium on September 14, 2019 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Tshegofatso Mabasa of Orlando Pirates celebrates his second goa during the Absa Premiership match between Orlando Pirates and Chippa United at Orlando Stadium on September 14, 2019 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: Lee Warren/Gallo Images

Orlando Pirates coach Rulani Mokwena has showered praise on Tshegofatso Mabasa after the striker opened his account with a brace against Chippa United at Orlando Stadium at the weekend.

Mokwena was impressed and delighted with Mabasa’s brace‚ saying the player did more in the game than just scoring the second half goals that gave Pirates the 2-1 win.

“Apart from the goals he scored‚ the amount of work he did (was impressive)‚” highlighted Mokwena.

“You asked him to do a lot of work on three defenders in terms of assisting us with high pressing and helping to press and defend in smaller areas.

“He was outstanding with that. His movement off the ball… there’s still a lot of work to be done.

“But over and above that‚ I think the things that media and supporters don’t see‚ is what a great human being the boy is.

“He’s extremely intelligent‚ understands tactics and understands the game but at the same time is so humble and coachable and listens to everything that you ask of him.”

Mabasa finished with nine goals while playing for Bloemfontein Celtic last season before joining Pirates in July. His goals for Pirates on Saturday interestingly came against Patrick Tignyemb‚ the man who was in goals for Celtic last season before also switching to Chippa in July.

Mokwena said players like Mabasa‚ who turns 23 in the beginning of next month‚ make his job as coach very simple because they absorb information that passed to them.

“What more do you say as coach when you’ve got hardworking‚ honest players?” he said.

“That’s the reward that he gets.

"You get the reward if you are a striker that is not selfish.

"You are striker that also tries to put in a shift and tries to create spaces‚ and defends for the team.

“He gives a different profile to the other strikers who are also important and he knows that.

"He comes into the team where he knows how important (Justin) Shonga is‚ and how important (Gabadinho) Mhango is.

“He knows how important (Zakhele) Lepasa is and his job is to compete for the role. Everybody else has to know that they work for their position in the club.”

Pirates‚ who moved to seven spot after their second win in five league matches‚ play Bidvest Wits at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday.

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