Mamelodi Sundowns

Struggling Shalulile receives Mamelodi Sundowns backing amid striker ‘crisis’

10:26 EAT 20/02/2022
Peter Shalulile, Mamelodi Sundowns, November 2021
After both Gaston Sirino and Pavol Safranko were injured in recent weeks, new signing Erwin Saavedra was added to the casualty list on the weekend

Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Rhulani Mokwena is not overly concerned by the club’s growing striker injury list, nor Peter Shalulile’s slump in front of goal

The Bolivian attacking midfielder was forced off injured after 38 minutes during Masandawana’s 0-0 draw with Al Merreikh on Saturday.

But Mokwena is confident that in the midst of a busy fixture schedule, bnoth domestically and in the Caf Champions League, solutions can be found.

"The reality is we still have possibilities and depth in the squad. We have got to find solutions, that's why we are here as coaches,” Mokwena told the media after Saturday’s stalemate in Cairo.

"Fortunately we worked on certain things in the break, a different formation and a different structure on attack, to try and see if we could play a different way without some our strikers.

"And in the game against TS Galaxy, a friendly, we worked on different schemes, different organizational forms. We were able to find a bit of joy.

"It depends on how you want to look at it, I always say life is about perspective, it depends which glasses you want to use,” the former Orlando Pirates coach continued.

"You can look at as a crisis if you want, but sometimes that doesn't help you - sometimes when you look at it from the negative perspective, you are stuck in the possibilities of not trying to find solutions.

"We try to be an organization that is driven by positivity. We try to be leaders that are solution-based."

After a blistering start to the season, Downs’ top striker Peter Shalulile has netted only once in his last seven appearances.

Again though, Mokwena sees no reason for alarm bells.

"I think it's only a matter of time before Peter scores. We know his qualities, we know what he gives to the team, it's not just about putting the ball into the back of the net," he added.

"What he gives to the team goes beyond that final action in and around the box. He's responsible like all our other strikers, to start defending from the top, to help us with starting to create possibilities for penetrative movement.

"As long as he keeps doing that and the bigger picture is for the team to benefit, then we are content.”