JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - MARCH 09, Senzo Meyiwa of Pirates pulls off another save during the Absa Premiership match between Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates from FNB Stadium on March 09, 2013 in Johannesburg, South Africa Photo by Duif du Toit / Gallo Images

Johannesburg – Orlando Pirates’ Soweto derby hero Senzo Meyiwa said the criticism he had been subjected to recently during the Buccaneers’ inconsistent displays gave him a much-needed wake-up call.

Meyiwa answered his critics with a Man-of-the-Match performance in a goalless draw against Kaizer Chiefs on Saturday, spectacularly denying Siphiwe Tshabalala (twice) and Sthembiso Ngcobo to earn the Buccaneers a valuable point.

“Critics are always there and I believe they make you become a great player.

“Sometimes when people say Senzo is a good goalkeeper, you end up relaxing. But when there are critics, it makes you aware that there is something wrong with what you are doing.

“So you need to check where you are lacking and you then work on improving.

“It gave me a wake-up call. I need to do my best,” said Meyiwa.

The shot-stopper, however, made it clear that while he accepts the criticism, conceding goals does not make him a bad goalkeeper.

“I was happy with my performance, but it does not end here.

“I need to keep working hard to improve my game all the time.

“But you know people in South Africa think if you concede goals you are a bad goalkeeper.

“Obviously conceding goals is not good, but it does not make you a bad goalkeeper. Your performance overall counts more.

“I’m always positive and I believe in myself. That keeps me going.

“Even if I concede a goal, I don’t look back. I have to pick myself up after and give my best.”

Meyiwa’s performance against Amakhosi would have certainly boosted his chances of retaining his place in Gordon Igesund’s Bafana Bafana squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifier against Central African Republic.

He said: “It’s up to Gordon Igesund what he is going to say. I’m working hard and I’ll see if I get a call-up.”

The 25-year-old, who conceded four goals against Maluti FET College in the Nedbank Cup two weeks ago and three against Moroka Swallows a few days later, heaped praise on defender Siyabonga Sangweni for the clean sheet against Chiefs.

Sangweni had been out for almost a month with a knee injury and returned to stabilise the Buccaneers’ leaky defence.

“It was a derby, a big game, so everyone was switched on. The return of Sangweni brought that stability at the back. We were solid and it brought confidence to the players because you know in the past few games we were not doing so well at the back.

“We managed to come away with a clean sheet and we are happy,” said Meyiwa. – The Star