Ndumiso Mabena has not hit the ground running at Orlando Pirates since his return to the club. Mabena rejoined Orlando Pirates last year in December 2022 and has only made one appearance. However, the 35-year-old striker is optimistic about his return even though he has not yet received a proper start in the black and white colours.
“I think I’ve helped a lot, and by so saying, I think even when we started losing games after we won the Top 8 trophy, we sat as players and discussed what was it that we are doing wrong and what is it that we are doing right.
“I think with that experience that I’ve put to some of the players that are still new to the team and together with the players that we got here which have experience in the team, they also helped me to give those young ones a little bit of knowledge. What is it that is expected of us as a team,” Mabena told the media.
Mabena is a well-experienced player, he has 5 appearances in Soweto derbies for Pirates in all competitions out of 15 games played against Chiefs from 2009 to 2014. He is a player that is fully aware of what it takes to be in a stellar atmosphere like the Soweto derby.
As much as Mabena’s years have gone by, the 35-year-old has years of experience and coach Jose Riveiro can capitalize on Mabena’s experience to turn things around for the club in the derby. Pirates have received the wrong end of the stick when it comes to clashes against Chiefs, as they have lost 4 out 5 head-to-head games against their bitter rivals.
Orlando Pirates will be without coach Jose Riveiro on the bench as he is still serving his suspension. His presence off the field might play a part in destabilising the team, however, Jose Riveiro will hope that the support from the Buccaneer fans will motivate the team.
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