Sipho Mbule. Picture: GALLO IMAGES
Sipho Mbule. Picture: GALLO IMAGES

SuperSport United coach Kaitano Tembo says Sipho Mbule is one the most talented midfielders at the club and he hopes a change of attitude can propel the youngster into a more regular role in the first team.

The 21-year-old displayed his prodigious talent with a second-half cameo appearance on Saturday as his side went down in the Tshwane derby against champions Mamelodi Sundowns.

Tembo said it is time for Mbule to pick up the mantel and run with it.

“This season he has been given a target that he’s got to come out and play regularly‚” Tembo said. “He wasn’t really serious in terms of looking after himself, but this season he’s arrived with a changed mindset.”

The United coach said Mbule would have to fight for a place in the team ahead of Teboho Mokoena and Jamie Webber.

“They are all youngsters and they are all fighting for the same position‚” he continued. “It will be a challenge and he [Mbule] has to learn to be a bit more consistent.

“He has done well in the preseason and that’s why he got an opportunity to play. I wasn’t worried in the least about putting him on. I knew I could throw him in there and he would go in there and play.”

Tall and commanding‚ Mbule has excellent ball skills and is physically strong.

“It is now also a challenge for Tebza [Mokoena] because he is the one who has been regularly in that position‚” he said.

“But now there is Sipho knocking on the door of selection after that kind of display. I think we’ve got healthy competition in that position.”

Tembo suggested it was also possible that Mokoena could take over from Dean Furman in the sitting role in midfield with Mbule playing a more forward position alongside.

“But Sipho cannot play at No 6 unless you want him to be more like a playmaker‚ going from deep‚ collecting the ball. We would rather play him a little more forward because he’s got the pass‚ he’s got the eye‚ he can see when to release the ball.”

Mbule’s introduction in the second half‚ in place of Mokoena‚ against Sundowns injected a little more attacking verve into SuperSport.

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