Milutin Sredojevic: Chippa United target Abel Mabaso and Asavela Mbekile still part of Orlando Pirates' plans

The two players are faced with stiff competition as they look for a place in the Bucs starting line-up

Orlando Pirates head coach Milutin Sredojevic has made it clear that Abel Mabaso and Asavela Mbekile are still part of his plans.

The two players, who can both play in defence and midfield, have struggled for game time at the Soweto giants since joining the club in the off-season.

Mabaso, 24, joined the Buccaneers from Chippa United, while Mbekile, 31, secured a move to the four-time Premier Soccer League (PSL) champions after being released by Mamelodi Sundowns

Chippa have already confirmed that they are interested in re-signing Mabaso, who was once on the books of current PSL champions Sundowns. 

However, Sredojevic has since stated that the two players still have a future at the club. 

"The two of them are the same as others, fighting for places," Sredojevic was quoted as saying by Vodacom Soccer

The Buccaneers will take on Chippa United in the 2018 Telkom Knockout Cup on the weekend of 20-21 October. 

They will also participate in the 2018/19 Caf Champions League which is scheduled to start late next month. 

"We are approaching the Telkom Cup, the Champions League and later on the Nedbank Cup," the Serbian coach continued. 

The former Yugoslavia national under-20 head coach explained that Mabaso and Mbekile will feature for the team once they meet the Bucs technical team's criteria.

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"Those are the competitions where we are looking at having them [play] once they satisfy the criteria and standard that we have put in," Micho said about the two players, who are yet to make their official debuts for the team. 

"Once they are ready to answer to those demands they will be there," the 2016 Caf Coach of the Year nominee concluded. 

Mabaso is a versatile player, who can play as a central defender and defensive midfielder, while Mbekile can operate in the right-back position and central midfield.