Lebohang Maboe. Picture: LEFTY SHIVAMBU/GALLO IMAGES
Lebohang Maboe. Picture: LEFTY SHIVAMBU/GALLO IMAGES

Lebohang Maboe will not celebrate if he scores against former team Maritzburg United for Mamelodi Sundowns in Wednesday night’s Premiership game at Lucas Moripe Stadium.

Maboe, 24, is well aware that since his and fellow key performer Bevan Fransman’s departure in June‚ United‚ after their best season in 2017-18‚ have collapsed‚ resulting in the departure of coach Fadlu Davids in December.

Davids‚ who steered Maritzburg to their best PSL finish of fourth last campaign‚ and their first cup final in the Nedbank Cup‚ joined Orlando Pirates as assistant coach on Tuesday.

“It’s very sad‚” Maboe said of his former team’s quick decline.

“And I just hope that they do come out of the bottom half and remain in the Premier League come next season.”

Asked if he would celebrate if he scored against the team who plucked him from First Division Mbombela United and gave him a PSL debut, Maboe said: “I don’t think I will. I’ll sympathise with them. It’s more: I feel like it’s me appreciating them bringing me to the Premier League.

“So I would gladly show them the respect if I scored against them tomorrow.”

Can he go easy on them? “No‚ no‚ I won’t‚” Maboe grinned. “I’m going to do what I have to do. After all‚ this is my work‚ so I have to respect the team who I’m playing for now.”

Maritzburg have given Sundowns some tough outings in recent seasons.

“Sundowns is a very big team. And I’m not saying we [Maritzburg] only prepared well for the big teams. But going into a Sundowns game we knew it was a very big game‚” Maboe said. “And we would give it the game of our lives. We all had a point to prove.

“So I’m expecting a very difficult game from Maritzburg tomorrow‚ knowing that they’re at the bottom of the league,” Maboe said.

Sundowns will aim to bounce back from their 2-1 away defeat against Lobi Stars in Nigeria on Friday night in the opening game of their 2018-19 Caf Champions League group stage campaign.