Johannesburg - Orlando Pirates coach Roger de Sa has defended his decision not to use Collins Mbesuma in Saturday’s African Champions League clash against Congo’s AC Leopards where the burly Zambian might have helped the club find the back of the net.
According to the supersport.com website, “If you have seen the training sessions and the friendly games you would understand,” he told reporters asking about the absence of the Zambian international striker from the line-up used in the weekend match at the Orlando Stadium.
The goalless draw at home came as a setback to Pirates’ hopes in the group phase.
“We used a more attacking formation in the later stages and that is why Ndumiso Mabena was brought on. We go by what we see in training, the training matches and not what name is on the back of the jersey,” the defiant coach said.
Mbesuma returned back to pre-season training late because he had been with the Zambian national side and was out of shape, added De Sa.
“At the moment it’s Lennox (Bacela) and Mabena. Mbesuma has played only 45 minutes. We have to go with what we have.”
De Sa said it was disappointing that the team had missed so many chances in the game but was happy with the form shown.
“The chances we missed are a concern for us but overall I wasn’t entirely disappointed. We still have an opportunity to get it right as there is still a way to go (in the competition).”