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Orlando Pirates Captain offers encouragement to Gabadinho Mhango

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Orlando Pirates Captain Happy Jele has sprung to the support of Malawi national football team striker Gabadinho Mhango who is struggling in front of goal.

Mhango has not found the back of the net in Pirates’ last seven games, dating back to his brace against Chippa United at the start of February before the season was suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The former Nyasa Big Bullets star’s failure to rediscover his scoring boots has endangered his chances to lift South Africa’s Premier Soccer League golden boot award as Highlands Park frontman Peter Shalulile equaled his goal tally of 14 after scoring twice in three outings since the restart.

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League leaders Kaizer Chiefs’ Samir Nurkovic trails by just one goal.

However, Jele said he believes that Mhango is capable of scoring more goals before the season ends.

“I talk to Mhango almost every day in training or after training, just to motivate him that the goals will come,” Jele told KickOff.com.

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“But it’s not about him only, it’s about the team – each and every one needs to score, but sometimes it puts pressure on him, and we don’t want that.

“Sometimes we as a team have to make sure that he’s always calm, so that when he gets a chance he can finish it off.”

Pirates, who are fifth on the log table, have played 27 games and are 10 points behind Chiefs who have game in hand with 53 points.

Nurkovic has a chance to catch up with or even overtake Mhango and Shalulile if he scores in Chiefs’ showdown against defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns.

Mhango’s next chance to score is on Saturday when Pirates lock horns with SuperSport United, while Shalulile also standing a chance to add to his tally when Highlands Park line up against Maritzburg United on the same day.

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