Orlando Pirates must sign a player like Hlatshwayo to bring stability - Makhanya

Thulani Hlatshwayo, Bidvest Wits, 2019
The retired winger has urged the Buccaneers’ hierarchy to bring the Bidvest Wits skipper on board

Former Orlando Pirates midfielder Joseph Makhanya has urged the Soweto giants to go all out and sign a quality centre back in an aim to solve their defensive problems.

‘Duku-Duku’ has explained his former team is doing well upfront but the rate at which Pirates are conceding goals at the back is a cause for concern.

Moreover, the former Buccaneers winger believes coach Rhulani Mokwena is still the right man for the job but he will have to settle down quickly.

“I think the defence is a cause for concern for the club there is no doubt about that. All I can say is that it has been a problem for a long time now," Makhanya told Goal.

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“I want to see a quality centre back such as Thulani Hlatshwayo bring stability in that heart of the defence.

“I am just making a recommendation but we really need someone with experience, a sense of presence and Tyson is solid and fits that role perfectly.

“I think there is no problem on the wings defensively, but the spine of the team rests on the centre backs. It’s a challenge and we need to sort it as soon as possible. If a team has a strong spine, it really becomes strong."

Although the Buccaneers lost a seven-goal thriller to Bidvest Wits last weekend, they managed to net three times against Cape Town City in their 3-3 draw on Saturday afternoon, but Makhanya wants Mokwena to get his balance right.

“The goals are there and it’s a matter of getting the balance right. As much as you score goals and play beautiful football, you still need to be solid at the back," Makhanya continued.

“Defending will take the team forward and that is how big teams win games and titles. You can’t score and concede yet expect to win games.

“I can’t really speak on behalf of the coach when it comes to the goalkeeping department because the coach knows which keeper can play better according to his demands.

“Even with Wayne Sandilands, there were complaints from some people and it’s all about who the coach wants because he trains them and works with them for a week before the games. I think we also need to give the new goalkeeper [Joris Delle] a chance until the defence is sorted."

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Meanwhile, Mokwena will have a break to challenge his troops as he aims to register his second win since taking over the coaching reigns and will face Stellnbosch FC away from home on October 26.

“The break will definitely help him to have time and sort the issues, especially at the back. You’ll remember he started coaching in the middle of the season and the breaks will help him," he stated.

“Although he was involved in the coaching department under coach Micho [Milutin Sredojevic] as an assistant coach, he is the main driver now and things have to be different. Let’s just be patient with him - he will turn things around," he concluded.