Rulani explains Sirino omission

Premiership

Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Rulani Mokwena has praised midfielder Gaston Sirino for his professionalism despite being regularly omitted from the starting line-up this season.

Sirino has seen a lack of action after previously being a pivotal member of the squad under Pitso Mosimane, which has proved disconcerting for fans.

New additions, Neo Maema and Thabiso Kutumela have instead been regular features as attacking options ahead of the Uruguayan midfielder.

"While Gaston has been playing it's very difficult because you then have to ask yourself why Neo is playing and then of course why Kutumela is playing," Mokwena said.

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"When you ask that question, the results are on the pitch and sometimes players are not playing because we can only play eleven.

"The only thing I can say is a huge compliment for their professionalism shown. Gaston is not the only one. There's Sibusiso Vilakazi, Aubrey Modiba and even players like Lesedi Kapinga and George Maluleka.

"These are players who are training. It's not easy when you come into training knowing possibly you will not be playing.

"Possibly also not being part of the team but still going on with the business of training and being professional and giving the team the best they can.

"This is the mentality that Gaston possesses, Vilakazi possesses, Aubrey Modiba possesses and of course when they get an opportunity, the responsibility is on them to speak with performances and not to speak by displaying long faces.

"The action, the louder the communication comes from performances on the pitch and that is what Gaston did when he came on.

"He showed hunger and good appetite to try and help the team.

"As long as they do that it helps to provide competition in the team.

"Only 11 can play. We are fortunate that we have got a very good squad where everyone can play.

"Its competition, its healthy competition and good headache for the coaches," Mokwena added.

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