OJ: Bucs need a quality defender

'OJ' donned the Pirates colours at the height of his career, prior to winning a move to English Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur, before a spell of unsuccessful stints at Mamelodi Sundowns, Platinum Stars, Bidvest Wits, Chippa United, Mpumalanga Black Aces, AmaZulu and most recently Royal Eagles.

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Last season, the Mayfair-based club experienced a turbulent season under Mushin Ertugral, interim coach Augusto Palacios and Kjell Jonevret, managing only six wins in 30 league games, while conceding an astonishing 40 goals.

The 36-year-old Kwa-Zulu Natal-born former centre-back feels the Buccaneers need to give serious attention to their defensive frailties, and urges the club to bring in a strong character at the back.

"From what I noticed last season what was bad was the backline of Pirates," Mabizela tells KickOff.com. "Pirates' backline was bad to say the least, and it needs to be strenthened this season.

"I won't say [it's been bad] after Siyabonga Sangweni had left, but all I can say and advise them is they should rectify their defence and the midfield.

"Okay, it is good that they have already signed one midfielder in Thami [Sangweni], but the backline and goalkeeping department need strengthening.

"Going forward they've got the players but, like I said, I'm concerned about the defence."