Augusto Palacios insists he’s happy despite Pirates’ inconsistent goalkeeping displays
Posted: 4 December 2016 Time: 12:18
Orlando Pirates caretaker coach Augusto Palacios insists he remains content with the goalkeeping situation at the club despite the evident shakiness in that department.
Pirates have only gone through just a third of their season, but they have already used three goalkeepers in Felipe Ovono, Brighton Mhlongo and Jackson Mabokgwane, with Siyabonga Mpontshane the only one yet to get a run.
Ovono was preferred early on in the season, but made horrendous blunders and was dropped with Mhlongo then coming in. Yet he wasn’t convincing, conceding six in one game which eventually led to Mabokgwane being given a run.
Mabokgwane has done fairly well, but failed to deal with a late corner that eventually led to the spectacular goal by Oscarine Masuluke in the Bucs’ midweek draw with Baroka.
Mhlongo was back between the posts in place of Mabokgwane in Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Highlands Park, and with goalkeeping being such a sensitive and crucial area, constant changes should be a reason to worry.
Yet Palacios is unconcerned.
“We have four good goalkeepers at the club,” states Palacios. “Remember one is in the national team and we must not crucify him because he made a mistake and say he is not a good goalkeeper. I will guarantee you [referring to Ovono], the way I know South African football, if you say release him then top clubs will take him because he is a good goalkeeper.
"Siya is another good goalkeeper and today was on the bench. Jackson, the same as Brighton. I cannot decide who must be released because that is up to management. But I am happy with the four goalkeepers, their performance is great but unfortunately today the goals were conceded by Brighton.
“I don’t worry about the performance because I think the team has very good goalkeepers.”
Palacios then gave an update on Mabokgwane’s situation.
“Jackson had a problem with a hamstring and had to take a scan and the doctor is going to tell us on Monday if he can start training,” he explained.
To date Mhlongo has nine starts, Mabokgwane four and Ovono two in all of the 15 games that Pirates have played.