Zambia head coach Milutin Sredojevic has clarified his stance on Justin Shonga and Augustine Mulenga, who have fallen out of favour at Orlando Pirates.
'Micho' was quoted as saying in Zambian media that foreigners at the Soweto giants have been treated unfairly since his departure in August last year.
The Serbian has now sought to explain that he was misunderstood in a recent press conference and has called for the Chipolopolo duo to raise their game in order to break into The Buccaneers' first-team squad.
"I never said it was an injustice, I said the only thing that I can advise them is that they go back to the field and prove that they are [good enough]," Sredojevic tells KickOff.com.
"If they are good enough, people will not keep them out [of the team] because people keep them out as they [have] made problems [for themselves] by not being good enough."
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He continued: "All over the world if you are a foreigner, you need to be better than a local player to prove that you deserve to be in the country – otherwise there is no point of them being there.
"My simple advice to them is to pull up their socks and sleeves, work hard and on the field of play, do well. Out of the field, behave and convince the coach that you deserve to play. There is no other way."
The former Zamalek coach went on to suggest that his words are not intended to influence the selection process at Mayfair but rather directed to his national team players to dig deeper.
"I can't influence them, I have a very good relationship with Orlando Pirates and with the technical team but I can't tell them to play Shonga or Mulenga," the 50-year-old explained.
"They will play when they deserve to, that's the rule all over the world and at Orlando Pirates."