Orlando Pirates head coach Milutin 'Micho' Sredojevic has explained why some of his players have not been featuring for the club thus far.
Defensive-minded duo Asavela Mbekile and Abel Mabaso are yet to feature for the Buccaneers this season having joined the club from Mamelodi Sundowns and Chippa United respectively in June 2018.
“The job that we do, if I could call it that, every single match is like a neurosurgeon operation. We need to be precise and correct in whatever you do,” Sredojevic told the media.
“Our players, several of them, are fighting for the positions, but there are certain criteria and standards, depending on the opponent, the state of their competitive form and other related issues that we take into consideration to decide who will play," he continued.
Abbubaker Mobara has started Bucs' last two games in the right-back position with Mthokozisi Dube out injured, while Thabo Matlaba has been sick.
“When I look at (the right-back options), Dube was injured; Matlaba was sick; we had Mabaso playing in the MDC and Mbekile playing many friendly matches, knocking on the door, but unfortunately our duty is to field someone that will give us the performance and result," Micho added.
“So, we do not live in the sentiments of the past, we live in the truth of present and, as I said the same as doing a neurosurgeon operation, we look at the details that could sometimes not be understood by people that are outside. But inside we know why and how," he explained.
The Serbian coach indicated that players like Mbekile and Mabaso are likely to feature in the upcoming 2018/19 Caf Champions League.
“The door is open for the two of them, especially that very soon we shall have [Caf Champions League] qualifiers and other matches that will bring us in an abnormal situation,” Micho said.
“The draw for the Champions League will be made on December 28 and in five months they need to finish the competition. When you look at the local league, it brings you in an unbelievable situation," he continued.
“But the power of a team is that you have the answers for local, international and anything the game brings you. I believe those players have a chance to feature in matches ahead of us," he concluded.
Pirates will take on AmaZulu FC in a Telkom Knockout Cup quarter-final match at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on Saturday.