Successful outing may prompt Downs coach to keep Lebohang Maboe at right-back
Pitso Mosimane says the wing was prepared to play in the position because he has speed and energy
Pitso Mosimane is expected to continue experimenting with Lebohang Maboe in the unfamiliar position of right-back when Mamelodi Sundowns take on Highlands Park in their league clash at Dobsonville Stadium on Friday.
With right-backs Thapelo Morena and Anele Ngcongca out with injuries‚ Mosimane deployed Maboe to his defence in Sundowns’ 0-0 Premier Soccer League (PSL) draw with Orlando Pirates on Tuesday. And Maboe — who normally plays on the wing — returned a satisfactory performance.
“What are you going to do if Thapelo and Anele are out injured?” asked Mosimane after the goalless draw with Pirates this week.
“We also had to protect the younger Nicholus Lukhubeni because Pirates have Vincent Pule and all those people. He [Lukhubeni] did well against Bidvest Wits and he will get his chance again but we needed a bit of experience in that position against Pirates.”
Mosimane explained the decision to play Maboe as a defender was not haphazard as Sundowns planned for it over the past few weeks since they returned to training in Rustenburg.
“From the training programme we have had over the last three to four weeks‚ we have been preparing Lebo to play right-back. It’s not like we thought about it on Tuesday — we have been preparing him because he has the speed and the energy and he can defend and head the ball very well.
“He won a few headers against Pirates and that’s good‚ probably we have another right-back. You never know‚ let’s see what happens as time goes on.”
Mosimane went into the Pirates game at Dobsonville Stadium looking for all three points for second-placed Sundowns to put pressure on leaders Kaizer Chiefs but was happy with only one.
“We can take a point, and experience will help us going forward. When we played against Chiefs last year I said that the point I got there would come in handy at a certain time.
“There was a time we played Cape Town City last year and I said after that match that I will take a point. Based on this game‚ you have to be realistic because you can’t have everything the way you want it.
“Let’s be honest‚ Pirates were good in the second half and we just have to take the one point and move on.
“You could see they were a little fresher than us in the second half. We are not happy with the result but at the same time we are not unhappy with the performance.
“To play this game two days after we played Wits on Saturday was not an easy task. We have three more days now before we play Highlands Park and it doesn’t get any easier.”
Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments?
Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.
Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.