Cape Town - Former Orlando Pirates striker Andries Sebola believes Thamsanqa Gabuza deserves praise for the manner in which he has forced himself into coach Eric Tinkler's first-team plans.
The 28-year-old has emerged as a key player for the Buccaneers this year, primarily because of his goal-scoring exploits in the CAF Confederation Cup.
It has been a remarkable reversal of fortunes for the Ladysmith-born player, who found himself on the fringes of the Pirates squad after signing from Golden Arrows in 2013.
"He is playing the best football of his life and I think he deserves to be praised for working hard to prove his critics that he is a quality player," Sebola told Goal website.
"I think he plays better when they use two strikers, especially playing alongside Kermit Erasmus.
"What makes him special is how he fought to remain with Pirates."
Looking ahead to Pirates' two-legged clash with Tunisian outfit Étoile du Sahel in the final of the CAF Confederation Cup, Sebola added: "They will have to do the job in the first leg match to be played here at home, and for me a 2-0 win could be a good result before travelling to Tunisia.
"All they players are high on confidence and I do not think anything can stand in their way.
"But the coach will have to work on complacency because it could come back to haunt them if they relax."