Makaringe yet to meet Pirates standards: Lekgwathi

Former Orlando Pirates Captain Lucky Lekgwathi has been reflecting on the first half of the 2019/20 season, admitting that Fortune Makaringe has been his biggest disappointment so far.

With the Christmas and New Year break fast approaching, the Buccaneers legend has been looking back at what has gone wrong at the Soweto giants, who have looked out of the Absa Premiership title race from the time former coach Milutin Sredojevic surprisingly left the club in August.

Lekgwathi is not happy with the way things have gone, although he has given his backing to interim coach Rhulani Mokwena.

That problem he was referring to were the wholesale introductions that coach Mokwena started to make following Sredojevic’s departure.

The club made more than 10 signings over the winter, the biggest of those being the arrivals of Frank Mhango and former Maritzburg United pair Siphesihle Ndlovu and Makaringe.

The caretaker boss suddenly started playing too many of those unfamiliar faces, according to Lekgwathi, who says it is where their problems began.

With the halfway stage of the season now just three games away for the Orlando club, they are lingering in eighth spot on the league table and worryingly sit a whopping 15 points behind their great rivals and leaders of the pack Kaizer Chiefs.

Lekgwathi believes that all the momentum built by Sredojevic last season has been killed by Mokwena due to his inconsistent team selections.

As for Lekgwathi’s biggest disappointment this season, the former star defender has pointed towards ex-Maritzburg ace Makaringe.

The versatile midfielder arrived at the club amongst plenty of fanfare with excitement levels and expectations high amongst their fans.

The 26-year-old was one of the key reasons that the Team of Choice reached the Nedbank Cup final two seasons ago and also secured a record high of fourth place in the league.

Last year, he almost single-handedly dragged them out of relegation, but Lekgwathi is not impressed.

Report by Thahir Asmal

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