Orlando Pirates co-mentor Mandla Ncikazi has said he is protecting Malawian international Gabadinho Mhango by not divulging reasons for sidelining the forward.
Speaking during a press briefing ahead of their CAF Confederation Cup clash against Royal Leopards today, Ncikazi stressed on the need to protect his players.
“For the Mhango issue, we have a responsibility to protect him and protect his career.
“Can you imagine if I were to come out publicly and say Mhango does not come to training and say Mhango has got issues outside training. We can’t select him if he is not coming to training.
“That will sound irresponsible to me. So I try to protect the environment and I know the frustrations of the supporters, it comes to coaches as insults,” he said
The co-coach is facing heavy criticism from club supporters for not playing the Flames talisman, despite his impressive display at the African Cup of Nations.
Ncikazi is on record to have said Gaba’s impressive show at the Afcon does not guarantee him space in his first eleven, arguing South Africa’s league is bigger that the continental tournament.
Gabadinho lost his regular space at Pirates prior to the Afcon. He allegedly broke the club’s rules outside the field of play thereby forcing the coaches to turn their backs against him.