Orlando Pirates coach Josef Zinnbauer has explained his decision when Tshegofatso Mabasa replaced Gabadinho Mhango in their draw against Golden Arrows last weekend.
The German manager has also downplayed reports that ‘Gaba’ faced criticism from a section of Pirates supporters at Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium, and says the Ghost applauded the nippy hitman.
On the other hand, the 49-year-old tactician will look to see his men return to winning ways against Mamelodi Sundowns in the Premier Soccer League (PSL) next week.
“Mhango works very hard. Gaba runs and fights on the field. He works hard on the field. It is normal in football, we change the players,” Zinnbauer told the media.
“No, they gave him a big round of applause. They were unhappy with his display and that is normal.
"We have to win the game and we need fresh legs to win games. When he came off the fans applauded him and there’s no problem.”
On his decision to substitute the former Bidvest Wits striker, Zinnbauer stated he has no problems with Mhango but wanted to give Mabasa an opportunity.
“It is normal that he will be changed in other matches just like Saturday. Mabasa is a good striker and he came on for him,” he added.
“Guys need minutes in their legs and Mabasa is on six goals if I’m not mistaken. He is a second top scorer in our team and it is not bad when he comes on.”
After failing to find the target in the previous three matches, the PSL top goalscorer with 14 goals will be expected to bounce back and score against the Brazilians for the second time this season.
Meanwhile, coach Pitso Mosimane is leading his troops to Cape Town where they face Stellenbosch on Wednesday night in their quest to narrow the gap to Kaizer Chiefs.