John Tlale: Why Jackson Mabokgwane should start for Orlando Pirates against Kaizer Chiefs

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The retired goalkeeper has shared his thoughts on who should start for the Ghost on Saturday

Former Orlando Pirates goalkeeper John Tlale says he prefers to have Jackson Mabokgwane between the sticks in the Soweto Derby against Kaizer Chiefs on Saturday afternoon.

The Buccaneers will face their old nemesis at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in a crucial Telkom Knockout Cup semi-final clash.

“I think for me, Jackson has to start because he was doing well just before the previous derby and it's just that he conceded, but that is part of football,” Tlale told Goal.

“He is doing well and it was just one mistake which cost him a place in the previous derby and I know playing for a big team is tough because the fans want wins and trophies, but he is one of the best keepers you can rely on,” he added.

Although the former Mpumalanga Black Aces keeper is backed to start, he has started twice in the Premier Soccer League (PSL) and once in the TKO Cup, as he conceded twice in the league with a clean sheet in the cup competition so far.

“He is good to take the number one spot and he has matured over the years. He is good to read the game and produces good saves – if I was a coach, I would select him,” responded the retired net minder.

Speaking about what kind of a keeper could be suitable to start as coach Milutin Sredojevic has Siyabonga Mpontshane, Brilliant Khuzwayo, Mabokgwane and Wayne Sandilands, Tlale said a keeper with a big character is perfect to get the nod.

On the other hand, the former Platinum Stars' net minder has started in 10 PSL matches where he conceded eight goals.

In the MTN8 Cup, Mpontshane has one start and allowed two goals whilst registering a single start and conceding once in the TKO Cup tournament.

“You know if you talk about Pirates, that team has been changed this season and you can tell it's only (Happy) Jele and one or two guys who are regulars and experienced in the team from last season,” he continued.

“So, choosing an experienced keeper cannot always guarantee a win sometimes, but you will need a keeper with a strong character to read the game, fight for the team, organise and be able to produce saves from any moment,” said the former Bafana Bafana keeper.

Moreover, the Kroonstad-born legend said the former Amakhosi net minder in Khuzwayo is not yet ready to take the number one shirt because he is recovering from a lengthy injury.

“No, I don't think he is ready to play in such a match. He is rusty and he will need game time to face his former team,” noted the former Bloemfontein Celtic keeper.

“In my opinion, he will need to settle down and get regular game time because he comes from a long term injury,” reacted the legend.

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However, the 51-year-old predicted a tough encounter which might go to extra time, but believes coach Giovanni Solinas' men will reach the final.

“It could end up in a draw because Chiefs will want to avoid a second defeat against their rivals. We know both teams are looking for trophies and they have a chance now because they are in the semi-final, but I believe Chiefs will win it on penalties,” he concluded.

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