Thembinkosi Sekgaphane
Phakaaathi Digital Administrator
2 minute read
20 Nov 2015
10:59 am

Mhlongo to start in Confederation Cup final?

Thembinkosi Sekgaphane

Members of the Orlando Pirates family gave vague answers to the media at Wednesday’s press conference about Bright Mhlongo’s fitness ahead of Saturday’s Caf Confederation Cup final against Etoile du Sahel.

Mhlongo started training with the team last week and featured in the club’s friendly game against Bidvest Wits last Friday.

The shot-stopper apparently looked sharp in the match as well as in training this week ahead of the continental cup final clash.

Ayanda Gcaba was the first to pass the buck when asked about Mhlongo’s fitness in a television interview this past Monday, claiming he was focused on the game against Wits.

“I was concentrating on the game. I was focused. I didn’t have a chance to look at him (Brighton Mhlongo).”

Eric Tinkler evaded the question in a packed conference room on Wednesday choosing to speak of Mhlongo’s positivity and his attitude towards recovering from a knee surgery.

Stand in team captain Happy Jele passed the Mhlongo fitness ball back to the coach, stating that the question should be directed at Tinkler and not at him.

“I think that one (the question) is for the coach, not me, but we are happy that everyone is back at training and there is no injury in the team.”

Jele was mum on the team’s strategy for the final, giving nothing away when asked about Pirates’ strengths.

“I can’t tell you our strengths because we are going to play against them (Etoile du Sahel). This this is going to be written on newspapers, and the team (Etoile du Sahel) will know what to do.”

Mhlongo revealed in an interview that he was told by the team management to focus on his rehabilitation so that he can be fit in time for the Confederation Cup final.

The team’s reluctance to spill the beans over his fitness and Mhlongo’s fine display in training and in the practice match seems to suggest that he will start against the Tunisians on Saturday.