Da Gama faces selection dilemma

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Mdledle picked up a yellow card during Saturday’s 1-0 Soweto Derby defeat to Kaizer Chiefs in Mmabatho and will sit out a suspension, while Gumbi was sent from the field during Saturday’s match, after receiving his second caution of the game.

Modise received a pain killing injection to his big toe during halftime of the match, and soldiered on manfully, until the pain took its toll and he was substituted during the second half.

“We need to pick up six points from our last two outings to push for a place in the top eight on the league table, but suspensions and injuries has been the story of my life since the start of the year,” said Da Gama.

While Pirates, find themselves in a lowly 11th place on the log with 36 points from 28 matches, Stars have had a good campaign in their first season back in the top flight, and are currently in fifth spot with 42 points from 28 matches.

Like most coaches in the PSL, Da Gama’s biggest headache is in finding a consistent target man up front, which will allow Excellent Walaza to run wide and provide the crosses into the opposition’s penalty area.

Although former Black Leopards striker Rudzani Ramudzuli got on to the field as a substitute during Saturday’s derby, he is clearly not part of the plan going forward, having not played regularly since November last year, while crowd favourite Manuel ‘Tico Tico’ Bucuane also seems to have lost favour with the coach.

Zimbabwean international Gilbert Mushangazhike got on to the score sheet in a friendly encounter against Vodacom League level opposition on Monday, and the coach may opt for his presence upfront alongside Walaza for the trip to Welkom.

While Da Gama and his squad continue to look for answers on the field, the coach is hopeful that the club management will be able to move swiftly in the transfer market to secure a goalkeeper, central defender, anchor midfielder and striker of quality, which will provide the ammunition for the building of a championship-challenging team for the new season.

Pirates’ final league fixture of the season will be against AmaZulu at the Johannesburg stadium on Sunday (15h00 kickoff).