Orlando Pirates coach Mandla Ncikazi has come under fire and coach find himself at loggerheads with the team’s supporters after snubbing Malawi’s star Gabadinho Mhango in the team’s game against AmaZulu on Sunday.
This follows after calling undermining the Malawi star’s exploits at the Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon in which he scored a sensational goal against Morocco to take his tally to three and finished joint-third top scorer.
South African newspaper Sowetan reported that Gabadinho’s Orlando Pirates teammamate Andries “Local is Lekker” Sebola has rebuked the coach for his recent comments on in-form striker Gabadinho Mhango and his rather bizarre comments regarding the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon).
Post their 1-0 win over AmaZulu in the first round of the Nedbank Cup at Orlando Stadium on Sunday, Ncikazi indicated Mhango’s splendid form at the recent Afcon in Cameroon, doesn’t guarantee him a starting berth at Bucs.
To make matters worse, Ncikazi alluded that the PSL was bigger than the Afcon, in comments which provoked widespread criticism for the seemingly talkative Pirates co-coach. Mhango didn’t even make match-day squad against Usuthu, despite having returned from Afcon sometime last week.
“Mhango is supposed to play because he’s on fire. You can’t say a scoring striker must wait for his turn. As I am speaking to you, I am watching the highlights of that game [Pirates versus AmaZulu] and I can tell you Mhango would have scored if he was selected,’’ Sebola told Sowetan yesterday.
“Mhango is Pirates’ best striker at the moment, so he must start games. Mandla is losing the plot. When he says the PSL is bigger than Afcon, he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. When he’s bored with coaching Pirates, he must pack his bags and go back to Arrows (where he coached last season).’’
Sebola expanded on why he thinks Ncikazi’s insinuation that the PSL was bigger than the continental showpiece was baseless. “How can the best players in the world in Sadio Mané and Mohamed Salah play Afcon if it’s not a big tournament? The PSL is smaller than Afcon,’’ added Sebola.
“Riyad Mahrez won’t come from Manchester City to play for Algeria if Afcon was a small competition. I don’t know what’s wrong with Ncikazi these days. Mandla has never been out of the country to represent SA, that’s why he talks like this about Afcon.”
Goal.com also said the coach’s comment would make him unpopular.
“Sentiment counts club bosses are aware of what’s been said online and once the supporters turn against a coach, it can make his job increasingly difficult,” reads the report in part.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :