I don’t know why people don’t like Mamelodi Sundowns defender Coetzee – Mosimane

The Downs tactician has come in defence of his midfielder-cum-defender whom he claims is not popular with people

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane says he does “not know why people don’t like” Rivaldo Coetzee and they will start realising why he sometimes selects the utility player.

Coetzee has featured in 15 games across all competitions this season, including three after the season’s restart.

But Mosimane who plays Coetzee either as a centre-back or defensive midfielder claims his player is less appreciated especially after he started deploying him in the middle of the park.

“Rivaldo is an unbelievable player – he doesn’t get the credit that he deserves,” Mosimane told journalists.

“Sometimes people don’t like him and I don’t know why they don’t like him. He is an accurate passer with the right and left foot and he wins headers in the midfield – brings the ball back. But it takes time, maybe people will start realising why we pick him sometimes.”

This season is Coetzee’s second full season playing for the Chloorkop side he joined from Ajax Cape Town.

He was a central defender while turning out for Ajax but Mosimane now uses him more as a defensive midfielder.

The player himself admits that he enjoys his new role in the centre of the park.

“Yes, I would say that the position grew on me and training in that position every day before the lockdown has helped me to adapt to it,” Coetzee told the Mamelodi Sundowns website.

“I actually enjoy playing midfield, I hope I can continue there and maybe have a future in that position. It was a bit tricky in the beginning, I wasn’t used to people pressing me from behind. I was used to seeing everything on the pitch and that made it easier for me to attack space.

“But in midfield you have to think quicker and always scan so you know what’s happening around you, and know what to do with the ball before you even receive it.”

It is yet to be seen if Mosimane would play Coetzee in Thursday’s top-of-the-table Premier Soccer League tie against leaders Kaizer Chiefs.

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