Steve Lekoelea calls for Thabo Rakhale’s return to Orlando Pirates line-up


Orlando Pirates legend Steve Lekoelea has urged coach Muhsin Ertugral to recall midfielder Thabo Rakhale to his matchday squad.

Rakhale has watched the Buccaneers’ last two games from the stands as the team struggled to collect maximum points against both Cape Town City and Platinum Stars.

Ertugral has opted for the versatile Thembela Sikhakhane as winger, with the likes of Thabo Qalinge and Vuyo Memela also watching on from the players lounge at the Orlando Stadium on Tuesday evening.

However, Lekoelea believes the Turkish tactician is making a mistake by leaving out the charismatic Rakhale, and calls for the midfielder to return to the side for their next match against Polokwane City.

“I am not happy [to see Rakhale not playing]. I see the supporters are also not happy,” Lekoelea tellsKickOff.com. “They miss Rakhale. When the team is down, Rakhale can pick them up.”

‘Chippa’ also pleads with the former Mpumlanga Black Aces coach not try to change the way Rakhale has been playing for Pirates in the last two seasons.

“I want to appeal to Muhsin not to restrict Rakhale. He must give him a free role but, at the same time, the player must remain disciplined,” he adds.

“When you start to restrict players like Makola, Qalinge and Rakhale then it’s a problem. He must allow them to express themselves but they must also remain disciplined.”

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JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - AUGUST 27: Thabang Monare of Wits in action with Thabo Rakhale of Pirates during the MTN 8 match between Bidvest Wits and Orlando Pirates at Bidvest Stadium on August 27, 2016 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Gallo Images)

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA – AUGUST 27: Thabang Monare of Wits in action with Thabo Rakhale of Pirates during the MTN 8 match between Bidvest Wits and Orlando Pirates at Bidvest Stadium on August 27, 2016 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Gallo Images)

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