Mhlongo earns Ertugral's respect

2016-09-15 12:38
Brighton Mhlongo (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Orlando Pirates coach Muhsin Ertugral has praised the professionalism of goalkeeper Brighton Mhlongo on his return to the first team.

After a shaky start in the first two games of the season for Felipe Ovono, Mhlongo was given a starting berth in Pirates' 2-1 win over Ajax Cape Town on Tuesday night.

Having initially lost his place in the team to Ovono following the arrival of Ertugral at Mayfair, Mhlongo suddenly found himself thrust into the limelight.

But he held his nerve to put in a near-flawless display, making some important saves to ensure a second consecutive league win for the Soweto giants.

Ertugral was highly appreciative of Mhlongo's positive conduct, saying: "What I loved about last two weeks is how professional Brighton was because he was the standing goalkeeper until I took him off.

"Obviously we explained why and for what reasons and he took that so professionally. I take my hat off to him. Because of this professionalism and how he conducted himself, this is why he got the respect and why he was in goal."  

The Buccaneers coach also explained why he chose to take Ovono out of goal, offering some words of encouragement to the Equatorial Guinea international.

"Obviously, when you concede a goal it's a chain of mistakes, it's not only one. In the end it's the goalkeeper," the Turk said. "Obviously, those were easy situations, he knows that himself, we don't need to go into that.

"He was down a bit. He let the team down and that's how he felt. I had a slight chat with him and it was difficult to continue with him in this game. He seemed a little bit fine when he returned from the national team because he didn't concede in the national team."

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