Mphahlele on Molangoane synergy

Mphahlele’s return from injury has seen coach Steve Komphela deploy him in central defence, rather than his preferred right-back spot, given Molangoane’s contribution during his absence.

While his licence to attack now restricted, the Bafana Bafana international says he in fact suggested the coach plays Molangoane at right-back, and is happy to now slot into a less mobile role.

“When I got injured the coach asked me who I think could play right-back, and I said, ‘Tight’ can play there’, because when I played with him he used to cover nicely in defence,” explained Mphahlele.

“Obviously, during the time I was out, he was playing as a wingback and though I’ve now been moved to centre-back I still have a good understanding with him.

“I always encourage him to go forward and attack more, because that’s what I know he carries as an attacker.

“He’s more dangerous in attack than in defence, so I always take risks and tell him, ‘Don’t come back, cheat a little bit and stay up front so you can punish when we get the ball’."

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With the two expected to partner again in this weekend’s much-anticipated Soweto Derby clash against arch-rivals Orlando Pirates, ‘Rama’ says, depending on the circumstances, they will likely be alternating in defence and attack.

“The game will talk to us. If things are tight and perhaps if we’re trailing, we’ll start rotating positions to see if I can attack a little bit and if he can sit back,” he adds.

“The game will always give you the information in terms of what you can and can’t do, and if it happens that I need to stay at centre-back on Saturday, I’m fine, I’m comfortable there.”

Kick-off at the FNB Stadium on Saturday is set for 15h30.