Pretoria – Mamelodi Sundowns striker Katlego Mphela will not have anything handed to him on a silver platter.
Mphela emerged from obscurity to net a double during Sundowns’ 7-1 massacre of AmaZulu at Loftus Versfeld on Tuesday.
Coach Pitso Mosimane said Mphela’s agent, Glyn Binkin, was putting the club under pressure to extend Killer’s stay at Chloorkop, but the coach insisted the forward, who has seven months left on his contract, should earn it.
“The challenge on the issue of Mphela is that the agent is putting too much stress on us on renewal of contract.
“We know Katlego’s contract is lapsing. We know, but we are calm about it. If he wants to sign with somebody else, he can. If he wants to stay at Sundowns and score goals, he must stay. If he scores goals he can stay. We like him here,” said Mosimane.
“We know what Katlego is capable of doing. Don’t look for flashiness. He has never done that. People expect him to be like Khama Billiat. He has never done that. All he does is finish. Mphela has a chance.
“He is a predator. He is a good player. He must get himself fit. We love him. Obviously we will renew his contract, but he has to play for his contract. Everybody must play for his contract.”
Mosimane declined to dwell on the details of how Mphela’s agent was putting them under pressure.
“I don’t want to dwell on that. You guys know. You are the guys he is talking to. You saw stories that we killed his career. What is that?
“I brought Mphela from not playing football. You know my relationship with Killer.”
Binkin was unavailable for comment. The agent was said to be away until Sunday.
In the few minutes that Mphela spent on the pitch, the hitman scored two brilliant goals to wrap up a party that also saw Katlego Mashego (brace), Dove Wome, Cuthbert Malajila and Hlompho Kekana get their names on the scoresheet.
Though the Brazilians provided a goal feast, which delighted the fans, Mosimane said his men had not played the way he’d wanted.
“I don’t think we played well. We did the business, we got the goals and did what we had to do. We have got the quality yet the play was never smooth.
“We were playing, staggering. It was never smooth, but I am happy. We have a quality team.
“Even when you are not playing well you take the chances. One day we will get smooth play and smooth passing and we will be better,” said the former Bafana Bafana coach.
From his days as national team coach, Mosimane was constantly lamenting poor finishing by players.
However this season, chances are he is likely not to go that route as he has probably the most explosive strike force in the country.
With a squad including Malajila, Mashego, Mphela, Billiat and Wome, Sundowns will always be a threat when it comes to scoring.
“Last season our challenge was finishing. We were not finishing chances. I had to make sure that I found players who could finish. The game in South Africa is all about that. Everybody creates chances. Everybody plays well. South Africa is full of midfielders who know how to play. Every team has players who know how to play.
“Even in the national team. The proof is there. We got people who can finish. I played five strikers and fortunately they all scored,” said the coach.