Thabo Matlaba adjusting to Orlando Pirates role as coach Micho challenges Lehlohonolo Mtshali
Posted: 19 October 2017 Time: 09:30
Orlando Pirates captain Thabo Matlaba admits it has not been easy to adjust to his new role, while coach Milutin Sredojevic was content with Lehlohonolo Mtshali's debut against Platinum Stars.
Matlaba is playing in central midfield under 'Micho' rather than his familiar position of fullback, and concedes the switch has come with challenges.
“It’s difficult, to be honest, but at least the coach is giving me the confidence. I have been doing that even at training all the time,” says Matlaba, who scored in a man-of-the-match display against Stars at FNB Stadium last night.
“But I don’t have a problem playing there because now I’m used to it.”
Matlaba says he drew confidence from being labelled the Philipp Lahm of South African football by Micho.
“That gave me a confidence when the coach said I’m the Philipp Lahm at the team, he gave me a lot of confidence.
“That’s why you can see the way I play now, I have to perform and play for the team.”
Meanwhile, Micho felt defender Mtshali acquitted himself well in the 1-1 draw with Dikwena. However, the Serbian believes there is more to come from the MultiChoice Diski Challenge product.
“It’s never easy to have your first game. I believe that he did quite well. He was supported by senior players because we have a set of them who are leading with maturity and giving confidence to young boys,” Sredojevic says.
“We know that he can even do much more and it has been a good welcome for him to Premier Soccer League football as a product of our MDC.”