Orlando Pirates coach Milutin Sredojevic says he was impressed with his new-signing Frank ‘Gabadinho’ Mhango’s stellar show in his Premier Soccer League (PSL) debut for the Bucaneers against Bloemfontein Celtic last weekend.
The Serbian tactician was quoted by www.sowetanlive.co.za as having said that it was pleasing to see the Malawian forward hit the ground running as a Buccaneer with an emphatically-taken goal in their 3-1 victory, saying he might turn out to be one of the masterstroke signings of the 2019-20 off-season.
“[Against Celtic] we had Kabelo Dlamini and Gabadinho Mhango coming in and doing well. Mhango scored a goal and announced himself in the best possible way.
“And this is how new players are supposed to be‚ gradually entering‚ and then as time goes, we cancel the way of older players and senior players and new players and become one team who work in one direction.”
Sredojevic said Pirates’ established senior players have played a prominent role integrating Bucs’ new signings.
“When the new players came‚ our senior players pulled up their socks‚ pulled up their sleeves and showed that they are the ones leading by example in the way we play‚” the coach said.
“However‚ other players could not just come and enter into the team. They need to work for it and deserve it. And they are also working hard,” he said.
Gabadinho got off to a good start‚ replacing Justin Shonga in the 72nd-minute of Pirates’ season-opener at Orlando Stadium last Saturday night and stealing the ball off defender Mzwanele Mahashe six minutes later‚ then slamming a finish past goalkeeper Sipho Chaine.
Pirates‚ seeking to end a trophy drought that extends back to the 2014 Nedbank Cup‚ and also win Sredojevic’s first silverware in the coach’s third season‚ have made nine signings ahead of the 2019-20 season.
Two of them—Gabadinho and winger Dlamini—came off the bench against Celtic.
In an interview earlier in the week, Gabadinho said: “For me, it was a dream start. I needed to make an impression because it is not easy to break into a big team like Pirates. So, yes, I am excited and I hope I can take it up from there.
“During training, the coach [Sredojevic] has been telling me that he wants goals from me and it could not have come at a better time than in my first league match.”
His compatriot Gerald Phiri Jnr also scored the lone goal for his new club Baroka FC against Bidvest Wits in his second league appearance.