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Mhlongo on Makaringe: ‘At Pirates you don’t need to shine, but deliver’

28 September 2021 - 13:03 By Marc Strydom
Fortune Makaringe celebrates with teammates after scoring the opening goal of a match.
Fortune Makaringe celebrates with teammates after scoring the opening goal of a match.
Image: Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

Fortune Makaringe has put too much pressure on himself and tries to do too much at Orlando Pirates, said former Bafana Bafana midfield stalwart Benson Mhlongo.

Mhlongo, 40, was a successful trophy winner at Mamelodi Sundowns (2005 to 2008) and Orlando Pirates (2008 to 2012), star of the 2009 Fifa Confederation Cup for the national team and later Bucs assistant coach. He said Makaringe, a similarly physical central midfielder capable of being influential in attack, should try to keep things simple until the midfielder is comfortable with the weight of a Bucs jersey.

Makaringe, 28, has shown much quality in his 47 league games in the past two seasons since being signed by Pirates along with Maritzburg United teammate Siphesihle Ndlovu in June 2019, though with a sense that he is yet to realise his full potential.

“He needs support. He needs a person who will, when he's off form, take over from him,” Mhlongo said.

“I think Makaringe puts too much pressure on himself. From Maritzburg he wanted to do too much.

“With Fadlu [Davids, Pirates’ co-coach and Makaringe’s ex-Maritzburg coach] back [in charge, with co-coach Mandla Ncikazi], he understands Makaringe better. I just hope he will help him settle.

“Remember when you are playing for Pirates you become a star overnight. Now that excitement can make you not play the game intelligently, but play the game for yourself to shine.

“Playing for Pirates you don't need to shine, but you need to deliver. They're two different things.

“He and Siphesihle Ndlovu, you can see both are struggling a bit because they wanted to take over like they did at Maritzburg. They need to settle first, and then they can try to take over.

“Because I think they like to carry the weight, but Pirates' weight is too much. If they can settle, play the game simple, then once you've had more games you can come out showing skill and what you have in terms of going forward and scoring.

“I think Makaringe is trying too hard, and it's a disadvantage for now.”

Pirates put up a fight, but were foiled by the double strike of Peter Shalulile and saves of Denis Onyango losing 2-0 to champions Mamelodi Sundowns at Orlando Stadium on Saturday for Bucs' first DStv Premiership defeat of 2021-22.

They meet Cape Town City at Cape Town Stadium on Saturday.