Rulani Mokwena: Safranko is a work in progress


Co-coach Rulani Mokwena on Saturday called for patience with Mamelodi Sundowns new signing Pavol Safranko after scoring his first goal for the club against Golden Arrows in the MTN8.

The highly-rated striker opened his account for Masandawana with a crucial 85th-minute equaliser in a 1-1 first-leg semi-final draw after coming on as a substitute at the Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium.

READ | Downs snatch late away goal at Arrows

Sundowns fought back in intense rainy conditions to salvage the contest with a home semi-final second leg still to play.

Mokwena praised Safranko's impact while calling for time to allow the Slovakian to adjust to life in the South African top-flight.

"It's still very difficult," Mokwena said.

"Even in preparing for this match in sitting with him during video analysis sessions to prepare for this match and correcting his previous performances, we know there's room to improve.

"This applies also for the team holistically, we know we may have drawn the match, but we showed a good fighting spirit and a desire to come back after being 1-0 down.

"We did well while we also know that we've still got a lot of work to do. We've got a lot of areas that we need to improve and offensively if one of them.

Mokwena also detailed how Safranko will provide a different option in attack for the Brazilians compared to their other strikers.

READ | Rhulani: It was important not to lose

"One of the key factors for offensive adaptation is time," Mokwena added.

"It's easier to play a bit less detailed, to go more route-one and load more balls in the final third from wide areas to go for percentage football because it needs less telepathy and cohesion.

"But when we play the way we want to play with our possession game we try to implement and some of the movements we try to have and patterns it becomes very, very difficult.

"So even for Pavol, he needs a little bit of time to adapt to our way of playing and our schemes and the patterns.

"But it's good what he showed today with the goal after coming on as a substitute, showing hunger and desire. His attitude has always been proper.

"We believe in him and know he's a top striker, and he's got very good attributes that can help us this season."

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