Lebohang Maboe was just a stopgap, says Pitso

Sihle Ndebele Journalist
Lebohang Maboe of Mamelodi Sundowns tussles for possession with Bucs' Gabadinho Mhango during their match on Tuesday.
Lebohang Maboe of Mamelodi Sundowns tussles for possession with Bucs' Gabadinho Mhango during their match on Tuesday.
Image: Samuel Shivambu/ Gallo Images

Mamelodi Sundowns tactician Pitso Mosimane has given an impression his decision to deploy forward Lebohang Maboe at right-back in their goalless draw against Orlando Pirates on Tuesday was just an improvisation.

As Mosimane has successfully converted myriad players such as Bongani Zungu and Rivaldo Coetzee from natural positions to new ones in the past, many had thought he was intending to do the same with Maboe.

However, the Brazilians mentor said he only fielded Maboe in defence because the position's usual suspects - Anele Ngcongca and Thapelo Morena - were still injured.

"Ooh! Lebo yeah, he didn't play wing-back he played right-back. What are we going to do ... with Thapelo injured and Anele still injured?'' reasoned Mosimane.

The unavailability of Morena and Ngcongca makes right-back Nicholus Lukhubeni an obvious choice to start. However, the 24-year-old was an unused sub against Pirates, having started in the Nedbank Cup semifinal win over Bidvest Wits two days earlier.

The match against Pirates was Sundowns' second in the bio-bubble format, having opened the resumption proceedings by beating Wits 3-2 in the Nedbank Cup. Mosimane has since opened up about their experiences and lessons from their opening ties.

"Lesson learnt is to do the substitutions as quick as possible. We've told our players, 'If you feel any discomfort or anything, you have to come out because we have five subs and we've got three chances to make them','' said Mosimane.

Tomorrow, Sundowns face Highlands Park at Dobsonville Stadium, the venue these two clubs share as per the biologically safe environment (BSE) mandate. Kick-off is at 6pm.

Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments? Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.