They are not on form – Benson Mhlongo on Erasmus & Saleng

Monnapule Saleng - Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

Former Orlando Pirates captain Benson Mhlongo, is far from convinced that Kermit Erasmus and Monnapule Saleng will bring happiness back to the club, despite their good recent form. 

It’s no secret that there was a distinct confidence among Pirates’ players in recent games, with the duo standing up for the club, helping each other to score goals.

In all competitions, Saleng has scored four goals in six appearances, while Erasmus who had just rejoined the team from Mamelodi Sundowns this season, has netted once and assisted twice so far in five games. 

However, Mhlongo has claimed that they are not yet on form, and they still need to prove themselves, stating that it’s “premature” to conclude the two are on their bests.

“I don’t think we have a right yet to say they are on form, when you are talking about someone on form, you are talking about ten games upward consistently – that person is on form,” Mhlongo told This Is Football Africa.

“Yes, Erasmus has been there, let’s see Saleng if he can contribute what he has that against Sundowns. It’s premature, it’s too early for us to see if they are on form. They have to prove today.

“The derby has a different atmosphere, it’s got its pressure, usually we wait for the derby to tell how good you are.”

While he admitted that the duo is showing signs of taking the team to another level, the former TS Sporting coach has accentuated that they must prove their qualities in today’s Soweto derby.

Mhlongo also felt supporters are putting pressure on the players, pleading that they must be given time to showcase more before being praised.

“I could say they are starting to adjust, starting to show potential of helping Pirates. We have to see if they can handle the atmosphere,” emphasised Mhlongo.

“Erasmus is a goalscorer, Saleng we can see the signs, it’s difficult to say whether they can score or not, that’s why you wait for a few games to determine whether they are in form or not.

“It took us years to see Shalulile, I think we give these boys too much pressure and credit early. We should give them time to prove themselves what they can do.”

The highly anticipated Soweto Derby will take place at FNB Stadium today at 15h30.

Monnapule Saleng of Orlando Pirates during DStv Premiership 2022/23 match between Orlando Pirates and AmaZulu FC at Orlando Stadium on the 14 October 2022 © Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix