Mhango has the numbers backing him in the derby

Mhango has not seen much action this season with 1
Mhango has not seen much action this season with 170 minutes to his name spread over seven appearances

Orlando Pirates will be left scratching their heads about Gabadinho Mhango ahead of the Soweto derby considering the healthy return that he has had in this fixture since joining from Bidvest Wits in 2019.

Mhango has only started two games in Pirates colours against Kaizer Chiefs and has scored twice and with his name a subject of discussion since his impressive showing at the AFCON.

The Malawian’s name has been rubbed onto the faces of the Pirates technical team considering that they have only scored once in three domestic matches this year with the stocky forward not featuring in any.

"I don’t like to talk about single players. We treat all our players 36 players the same," responds Fadlu Davids when asked about Mhango again.

Mhango’s name is relevant considering that The Bucs’ top scorer after 23 games on the domestic scene is Deon Hotto with five goals.

"Definitely not only Gabadinho Mhango but Tshegofasto Mabasa, (Boitumelo) Radipane, who scores every week (in the MDC team) and looking at us and saying ‘hey, when am I getting my opportunity?’

"But it’s about managing the squad. Yes, as you saw in the past couple of matches, he (Mhango) has been in the squad and that is only the signal of his performance in training.

"That’s obviously putting him a step closer in fighting for a place and so is Mabasa and so is Radiopane. That competition is strong. At the moment Gabadinho has had the nod in the last few matches ahead of Tshegofatso Mabasa ahead of Radiopane but they are working. They are fighting (Zakhele) Lepasa and (Kwame) Peprah who are in the squad and both doing well so that competition is strong.

"There is competition throughout the squad. The signal that I can send is not only to one player but to the entire squad and that is to work hard and be ready. All the players must work hard because that opportunity can come at any time.

"There are players that have the big-match temperament, and we know them. The competition in the starting line-up is completely open and you can see it in the training sessions. At the moment the competition is high and very good," says Davids.

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