Cape Town - Orlando Pirates goalkeeper Brighton Mhlongo has explained the reason for his absence from the starting line-up at the start of the Premiership campaign.
Questions were raised when Mhlongo missed the fixtures against Golden Arrows and Bidvest Wits at the start of the season, with Equatorial Guinea international Felipe Ovono handed a starting berth by head coach Muhsin Ertugral.
Jackson Mabokgwane was also handed a start by Ertugral in the absence of Mhlongo, although Mhlongo has gone on to reclaim the number one jersey in recent fixtures.
And Mhlongo says he was made fully aware of what to expect by Ertugral, having been laid low by a case of the flu.
"It is always good to have an honest coach like him," he told the SowetanLIVE.
"Most people didn't know that I was sick with flu before we played the Maize Cup [in August against Platinum Stars], so I wasn't part of the team.
"Obviously, the guys did well and brought the trophy back. The coach saw it fit to continue with that winning momentum with Ovono and Jackson [Mabokgwane]."
He added: "I think it was only fair for him [the coach] to continue with the guys because I was not part of the set-up and I had to work hard to come back to the team.
"Yes, you can say I'm number one now, but obviously if the guys are working even harder and I'm resting on my laurels, then someone else will take the position.
"I had to make sure I stayed prepared and I always say chances favour a prepared mind so if you are not prepared it was going to go past."