Downs Coach Critical Of Mailula Hype

Cassius Mailula of Mamelodi Sundowns. (Photo by Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images)
Cassius Mailula of Mamelodi Sundowns. (Photo by Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images)

Mamelodi Sundowns head coach Rulani Mokwena has given an insight into why Cassius Mailula had to get game-time sooner rather than later at the club. 

Mailula has taken the country by storm with his goalscoring exploits since being given a chance as an academy graduate, particularly after the injury of leading striker Peter Shalulile. 

The 21-year old has already scored three goals in three DStv Premiership appearances, scored a hat-trick in the CAF Champions League against La Passe and recently scored three goals in the Carling Black Label Cup tournament, including a brace against Orlando Pirates in the final.  

Read: Rulani: Mailula Has Similar Quality To Percy Tau 

Mokwena has cautioned that Mailula has many people talking about him because of the goals but he still has a lot to improve. 

Mailula's eye for goal has also seen him being compared to former Sundowns forward Percy Tau but Mokwena says it's unfair to compare the two players.

"I don't think it would be fair for either Percy or Cassius to make that comparison, because they are two exceptionally talented players in their own right, with their own exceptional qualities," Mokwena said on Soccer Zone

"But I always plead for patience with Cassius and I know that sometimes it's the goals that make the noise and because the goals make the noise, the name then comes and becomes a name that everyone wants to talk about. 

"But the reality is, even when we do the corrections and I sit down with him and I show him, there's so much potential still in this boy! And the the good thing about Cassius is a lot of the things that he does wrong are things that I've seen a lot of young players do wrong."  

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Mokwena went on to explain that offensive players can only improve by playing matches because they rely more on intuition than other players in different positions. 

"And the only way for him to develop and get better is to be on the pitch and experience these situations, offensive players, unlike many other positions, midfielders, centre-backs, full-backs, offensive players need to be on the pitch to experience the pressure, the anxiety," Mokwena carried on. 

"The feeling of being in and around the box, to be able to improve and that's the only way. Training in isolation to train finishing and movement doesn't help offensive players that much," he insisted.  

Read: Themba Zwane Grateful For Sundowns ‘Freedom’ 

"Offensive players need to have a smell of moments, decision-making, timing and sometimes needing to know when to hurry up and needing to know when to slow down a little bit.  

"It's intuition and like in life, you only develop intuition through experience and that's the same with him, so we have to be a little patient with him. He still makes so many mistakes but that's very good," he said. 

"Because that shows that he's going to get even better, as long as he stays humble, he listens to his coaches, he listens to his teammates, he grabs advice from players like Peter Shalulile, he'll be alright," he added.

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