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Sundowns defender Modiba takes criticism on chin

Player found inverted fullback role challenging

Neville Khoza Journalist
Aubrey Modiba during the Mamelodi Sundowns press conference at Chloorkop on May 18, 2023 in Midrand, South Africa.
Aubrey Modiba during the Mamelodi Sundowns press conference at Chloorkop on May 18, 2023 in Midrand, South Africa.
Image: Lefty Shivambu

Mamelodi Sundowns defender Aubrey Modiba insists he is not bothered by the criticism he endured at the club this season following his performances.

Modiba was heavily criticised, with the recent one coming in their 5-2 win over Al Ahly in the quarterfinal of the CAF Champions League second leg in Pretoria.

He was blamed for his two costly mistakes that led to Ahly’s goals in that match, where coach Rulani Mokwena even came to his defence.

The 27-year-old has been used as an inverted fullback and said this was a role he struggled to get used to at the beginning of the season.

“The coach [Mokwena] always says we must trust the process. When we started, I remember in the pre-season in Rustenburg, he told us that this is how we are going to play,” Modiba explained.

“When we started, I didn’t understand the role that much. Sometimes I would do what he wanted me to do, sometimes I would forget and he kept on reminding me and motivating me to be able to be in that position because he knew what he wanted.

“Obviously, there were going to be mistakes along the way and people were going to criticise me. And for me as a player, I don’t focus too much on critics because I have been in the PSL for a while. We know this kind of thing will happen and people will come and say things.

“But if you dwell on them, they will impact you in the next game."

However, the fullback admitted that he should have done better this season even though he had some good and bad moments. “Personally, my season could have been better, but I have had some good and bad moments, and obviously the position that I’m playing right now... compliments must go to the coaches and everyone,” he said.

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