Johnson backs Mbatha for Bafana call-up

Mbatha has been producing quality performances this season, often saving the team from losing or drawing games.

On Saturday he produced a man-of-the-match performance that saved Usuthu from a very dominant Cape Town City and they ended up snatching a 1-0 win at King Zwelithini Stadium.

Mbatha has raised his hand as an option for the national team, especially with regular number one Itumeleng Khune sidelined with a shoulder injury and unavailable to face Libya in a must-win African Nations Cup qualifier in March.

"As my goalkeeper, he has done extremely well for the club, but it's for the national selectors to decide on whether he can fit in with their plans," said Johnson when asked if his shot-stopper deserves a call-up.

"As much as we appreciate to see our players in the national teams, it's not my space to make decisions, we need to respect the selectors."

The goalkeeping space is up for grabs and national team coach Stuart Baxter will have to select a strong side as the team must win to qualify for Egypt, meaning Mbatha's relative inexperience may count against him.

Johnson also congratulated the national under-20 side for qualifying for the 2019 FIFA U20 World Cup in Poland and commented on Usuthu's own Sibusiso Mabiliso, who is part of Thabo Senong's team.

"We are proud of the boys," he added.

"As for Mabiliso, I think it's more of an Usuthu pride than myself personally, he had a few good games in the team, I'm happy for him and hope he will show the world what the club can produce."

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