Siyabonga Mpontshane should be Orlando Pirates' No.1, says Rowen Fernandez

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The former South Africa international feels that Mpontshane is good enough to be Bucs' first keeper

Legendary Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper Rowen Fernandez says Orlando Pirates shot-stopper Siyabonga Mpontshane should keep No.1 jersey for the remainder of the season.

This is after Mpontshane started ahead of Jackson Mabokgwane in the Soweto Derby clash which took place at the FNB Stadium at the weekend.

Mabokgwane has been Bucs' first-choice goalkeeper for the better part of the current season, but he was surprisingly dropped ahead of the team's titanic clash with Chiefs on Saturday.

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Mpontshane, who conceded one goal as Pirates beat Chiefs 3-1 in front of a packed stadium, has been praised by Fernandez.

"They are very talented... even Wayne Sandilands is a very good keeper. I think Mpontshane must remain in goal for the remaining matches. It makes sense because he did well against Chiefs," Fernandez told The Sowetan.

Fernandez worked for the Buccaneers as a goalkeeper coach between 2016 and 2017.

The 40-year-old has since been replaced by Croatian goalkeeper coach Ivica Vukusic, who was appointed following the arrival of current Pirates head coach Milutin 'Micho' Sredojevic in August 2017.

"When he was not playing, he remained positive. I know it will be very difficult for the technical team because both of them are good athletes. Neither has really claimed the No.1 jersey and that makes them to push each other and remain on their toes," the retired shot-stopper continued.

Fernandez, who competed with legendary South African goalkeeper Brian Baloyi at Chiefs during his playing days, believes that Sredojevic spoke to Mabokgwane, before the Limpopo shot-stopper was dropped.

"I am sure the coaches spoke to him prior to reaching the decision to bench him. Remember that the team is bigger than any individual," the former Armenia Bielefeld shot-stopper concluded.

The Buccaneers will travel to Cape Town where they are scheduled to face Cape Town City in the Nedbank Cup Last 16 encounter next week Wednesday.

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