Orlando Pirates Football Club administrative manager Floyd Mbele says the management will not get involved in the feud between head coach Mandla Ncikazi and forward Gabadinho Mhango, saying any decision to field a player lies in the hands of the coach.
Mbele was responding to the local media as to why Ncikazi continues to sideline the lethal forward who had a wonderful Africa Cup of Nations with Malawi in Cameroun.
Mbele said: ” A fundamental decision is that the coaches work with the players and the decision of the coaches is final and we have to respect that.”
The administrative manager was quick to defend Ncikazi over the sentiments he made about Mhango by accusing the media of ‘too quick to crucify’ the manager.
“If you recall, Mhango was not a regular before AFCON. Coach Mandla Ncikazi explained and addressed the issue but the media was too quick to crucify and criticize him before they could interpret what he was saying,” he continued.
“The media didn’t interpret what Mandla said, they just made headlines. He explained that the other three PSL players who played at CAN were not regulars at their clubs and that the competition in PSL teams might be more important than the competition in some CAN teams,” he added.
According to Mbele, the Malawian international, just like the rest of the players, has to fight for his place.
“There is no management problem with the player, it’s just the technical staff and the coaches and the player has to fight for his position just like the other players in the team.
“If we tell the coach to play a certain player, we will be accused of interference. Let the coaches decide,” he concluded.
The 29-year old former Nyasa Big Bullets, Bloemfontein Celtic, Bidvest Wits and Golden Arrows forward netted three goals at Afcon, including the screamer against Morocco in the Round of 16.
Many thought Mhango’s performance with Flames would be a stepping stone to the revival of his Pirates career but Ncikazi made very atrocious sentiments about Afcon tournament being less competitive compared to the DSTV Premiership when he was asked to explain his continued sidelined of the striker.
Mhango was not even part of Pirates’ goalless draw away to Baroka FC on Tuesday.