Orlando Pirates co-coach Fadlu Davids says the entire squad is treated equal and Gabadinho Mhango needs to work hard and remain patient for his chance.
Mhango has been on the periphery of the Pirates squad since his incredible debut season where he won the Lesley Manyathela Golden Boot award with 16 goals and despite only featuring in two league games before the recent 2021 Africa Cup of Nations – he proved to be one of the standout players in Cameroon.
The Malawi talisman score three goals in the competition, which included the incredible strike against Morocco in the last-16 but has once again found himself out in the wilderness since his return to South Africa.
Having not started a single game and not even making it off the bench in their 6-2 thrashing of Royal Leopards or the 0-0 draw with Cape Town City, Davids said there’s no issues with the player.
“I don’t like to talk about single players I think we treat all of our 36 players the same and definitely not only Gabdinho Mhango but also Tshegofatso Mabasa, Boitomelo Radiopane that’s scoring every week and looking at us [thinking] hey when am I going to get an opportunity,” Davids said ahead of the Soweto derby.
“But it’s about managing the squad. Yes as you saw in the last couple of matches he’s been in the squad and that’s only a signal of his performances in training so that’s definitely put him a step closer and fighting for a place.
“So is Mabasa, Radiopane and that competition is strong. So far Mhango has the nod in the last few matches ahead of Mabasa and Radiopane but they are working hard, pushing fighting, [Zakhele] Lepasa and [Kwame] Peprah as well doing well in the squad.
“That competition [up-front] is strong and like we tell all our players, not only strikers but wing-backs, midfielders. [Thabiso] Monyane does well week in, week out, looking for his opportunity but the player playing at the moment is also pushing and doing well.
“It’s competition throughout the squad so I can’t send a signal to one player only but to the entire squad to work hard and be ready because opportunity can come at any moment.”
Overall, Mhango has featured in 170 minutes of football for the Soweto giants this season, registering one assist and scoring none.