"Things are not as bad as people suggest at Orlando Pirates" – Maela

The Buccaneers left back is confident they will turn things around because they still have confidence in their abilities

Orlando Pirates defender Innocent Maela admits they have not had a bright start but believes the situation is "not so bad".

Maela also explained he is not under pressure to follow his former Kaizer Chiefs brother, Tsepo Masilela’s footsteps.

The Buccaneers left-back is in the Bafana Bafana camp as they prepare to face Mali in the Nelson Mandela Challenge on Sunday afternoon in Port Elizabeth. 

“We didn’t have a good start at Pirates but were are still confident. If you look at it, things are not as bad as people suggest, it’s just that we are facing tough times,” Maela told the reporters as quoted by Isolezwe.

“It’s different from Bafana and I can say that my confidence is high.

“I think all the players that are here are aware of the importance of doing well whenever we get a chance to play for the country.”

In addition, Maela’s big brother also played as a left-back for the national team and featured in 51 games including the 2010 Fifa World Cup, but the 27-year-old is also focusing on helping the Soweto giants back to winning ways.

“For me, there’s no pressure at all because what Tsepo achieved was for himself. What I will achieve in my career is for me,” continued Maela.

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“I can’t live his life. He also can’t live mine. Obviously, what he achieved serves as an inspiration for me. I’m currently enjoying every moment of my career.”

With the Witbank-born defender hoping to make his mark and cement his place under coach Molefi Ntseki, the absence of Sfiso Hlanti could open doors for the former Witbank Spurs defender.

Meanwhile, the talented left-back will also be expected to play a pivotal role for coach Rhulani Mokwena’s troops after the Fifa international break as they will travel to Stellenbosch FC.