George Lebese to 'work through Christmas' to find form at Sundowns

12 December 2017 - 14:25 By Mahlatse Mphahlele
George Lebese and Oupa Manyisa of Sundowns during the MTN 8 quarter final match between Mamelodi Sundowns and Maritzburg United at Lucas Moripe Stadium on August 13, 2017 in Pretoria, South Africa.
George Lebese and Oupa Manyisa of Sundowns during the MTN 8 quarter final match between Mamelodi Sundowns and Maritzburg United at Lucas Moripe Stadium on August 13, 2017 in Pretoria, South Africa.
Image: Gallo Images/Lefty Shivambu

George Lebese has made an impassioned plea to Mamelodi Sundowns fans to be patient with him as he tries to establish himself in coach Pitso Mosimane’s starting eleven.

The 28-year old Lebese has struggled to sparkle at Sundowns since his highly publicised move from rivals Kaizer Chiefs in August where he became Mosimane’s second-biggest signing of the off-season after Oupa Manyisa‚ from Orlando Pirates.

Lebese‚ who was born in Mamelodi‚ has featured in seven league matches for the Brazilians with a return of just one goal and he is yet to win over the fickle Sundowns fans largely due to his inconsistent performances.

“Obviously I am not happy with the contributions that I have made so far to Mamelodi Sundowns‚” the forward told TimesLIVE on Tuesday.

“As a player you want to be playing every match but I respect the decision of the coach because I know that the players who are playing ahead of me are doing well at the moment.

“I am asking the Sundowns fans to be patient with me because I am doing all I can to make them happy and contribute to the success of the team.”

Asked why he has taken time to settle down at his new club‚ Lebese pointed out that there are a number of reasons.

“It is a combination of many factors. I am learning how to do things differently under a new coach‚ a new system and in a different environment but things are looking up and I am hopeful that things will be better as the season progresses‚” the midfielder said.

To enhance his chances of forcing a place in the starting lineup in the second round of the campaign next year‚ Lebese said he plans to continue training during the Christmas break so that he stays fit.

“I am not expecting that we will have a long break anyway‚ but my plan is to continue working on my fitness right trough the Christmas break so that when we resume I am in good physical condition‚” he said.

Lebese was an unused substitute in Sundowns’ 1-0 win over Golden Arrows on Sunday where they returned to the top of the Absa Premiership standings.

He is likely to start on the bench again when the Brazilians take on Maritzburg United on Wednesday night at Loftus Versfeld.

“At the moment‚ the team is doing very well and we want to end the season on a high and give our supporters something to enjoy this festive season‚” the winger said.

“It is not going to be easy but we will try to get all the nine points in our remaining three games of the year against Maritzburg on Wednesday‚ Bloemfontein Celtic and Cape Town City.”


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