Cape Town - Orlando Pirates head coach Eric Tinkler has revealed Happy Jele will not be an automatic selection for their game against Al-Ahly despite his status as vice captain.
Jele missed the 1-0 win at Orlando Stadium in the first leg of the CAF Confederation Cup semi-final due to suspension, and Tinkler admitted his availability for the return fixture is slightly problematic as the coach is keen to reward the players that have got the club this far.
"It's great to have him back. He has been extremely influential in this squad throughout the competition," Tinkler told a press conference before the squad left for Egypt.
"As yet, I have not made that decision because you also got to reward the guys who played in the last match.
"I thought the back four was phenomenal. Ayanda Gcaba and Rooi Mahamutsa were excellent against Al-Ahly. But it gives me a selection headache which is a good headache."
Buccaneers captain Oupa Manyisa was ruled out for up to three months after undergoing surgery on a fractured ankle, but Tinkler is confident there remains enough experience and quality in the squad to deal with his absence.
"We got a number of players who got experience of playing at this level against such teams we are playing against," he added.
"We can't rest on our laurels, they are going to come at us. They are a very good team going forward and if we don't defend the same way we did at Orlando it will be a problem."