With Orlando Pirates coach Jose Riveiro still working on finding his best line-up, one player eager to be given an opportunity is midfielder Siphesihle Ndlovu.
A bit-part player last season, having made just 14 appearances in all competitions, the former Maritzburg United star reckons he still gave his all.
“Obviously my season last season wasn’t the greatest season. Out of 100% I will give it 30 – 40 because of the appearances that I had, but when I started playing I also told myself one thing, that I need to work hard and contribute very well which I did and I’m happy with that” said Ndlovu.
Ndlovu says his versatility is both a blessing and a curse – at times he made the Pirates squad because he could slot in anywhere but that also worked against him.
“Being versatile it’s a challenge but it’s a good thing in a way. But with that, it should come with the trust and belief from the coach because if the coach believes and trust that you can play in a certain position you just need to do the work for him. Preferable for me I would like to play as a midfielder its either 6 or 8 cause those are kinda same thing yah because I’m a kinda box-to-box player, and also with a good fitness I can do that like the likes of (N’Golo) Kanté, (Mateo) Kovačić yah those kind of players” Ndlovu went on.
The Buccaneers finished the previous campaign in sixth place and missed out on CAF inter-club competitions, an outcome that is attributed to costing co-coaches Fadlu Davids and Mandla Ncikazi their jobs. For Ndlovu, the season wasn’t necessarily a disaster.
Riveiro has taken over and so far managed a win, a draw and a defeat in the DStv Premiership in his opening three matches.
Ndlovu says he hasn’t tinkered too much and that the coach instead encourages them to dominate more games like the Pirates of old.
Only time will tell when Ndlovu will finally get his chance under the Spanish mentor, who he defends is pragmatic and fair in his selection.
“What I’m happy about is that, he is not a kinda coach who’s gonna play anyone, somewhere else-what is gonna do is to make sure you know who you competing with, how many players you competing with, so you just need to do the principles right, the values right, whatever tactics things that he wants right or better than the other one then you’ll play”.
“So that is the kinda thing that we are having right now which is positive and it makes you know what you need to do and when to do it. He is just a simple coach” said Ndlovu in coclusion.
By: Mazola Molefe
This content was originally published here.