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Orlando Pirates coach Davids responds to Mhango’s lack of game time

00:44 GMT+4 18/02/2022
Frank Mhango, Orlando Pirates, August 2021
Since returning from the Africa Cup of Nations finals, the Malawi international has not tasted action

Orlando Pirates co-coach Fadlu Davids has indirectly discussed their decision not to include striker Frank Mhango in their matchday squad.

Since the Buccaneers resumed their football schedule, Mhango has not appeared even on the bench in three games, including Wednesday’s 0-0 Premier Soccer League draw against Golden Arrows.

This has come as a surprise especially after the forward’s scintillating performances at the Africa Cup of Nations finals last month.

“I think that’s not the time to get into why is this one not playing and why is that one not playing because there are a lot of players that are not in the squad,” Davids told the media.

“You can name Tshegofatso Mabasa, you can name Ntsiki Nyauza who’s coming back from his illness, and there are a lot of players… [Tebogo] Tlolane who is back from injury is available. There are a lot of players who are fighting for their place.

“Before this match [against Golden Arrows] we had four matches that we won in a row and we were looking for consistency. Yes, those players are training well and working hard and the players in the squad at the moment, the players on the pitch in the starting line-up are looking over their shoulders because these players keep pushing them.

“That is what you want in the team, and we just urge all our players in our squad and all of them are still available to Orlando Pirates and all of them are going to play a part.”

Recently, Davids’ co-coach at Pirates Mandla Ncikazi stirred controversy by suggesting the PSL is stronger than Afcon as he justified why Mhango is not playing.

On the backdrop of failing to beat Arrows, it is yet to be seen if Mhango will feature in Sunday’s Caf Confederation Cup encounter against Al-Ittihad.

After that, the Buccaneers will face Kaizer Chiefs in the Soweto Derby.

“At the moment they have to work hard, get into the squad and when they do get the opportunity, we hope they can take over the baton and do better than the players that are playing at the moment,” Davids said.

“So, good competition at the moment and let’s hope it can push the team further and further and when the time comes let’s hope the media can also, as we’re calling for these players, support them and not just one game but give these players a chance and build them up.

“Let’s support them, let’s give them the time and their moment will come and that’s what we want, competition in the squad.”

Mhango has made six appearances across all competitions this season.