Mpho Makola urges Orlando Pirates’ senior players to turn criticism into inspiration

Orlando Pirates midfielder Mpho Makola has downplayed criticism of the team’s senior players and argues they are still of great value to the club.

The Buccaneers last season finished outside of the Absa Premiership top eight for the first time since the inception of the PSL in 1996, much to the disdain of ‘The Ghost’.

The likes of Makola, captain Oupa Manyisa, Happy Jele, Issa Sarr and numerous other senior players have taken plenty of flak throughout the team’s dismal showing last season, with some fans even calling for their sacking.

However, 31-year-old Bafana Bafana attacker Makola says they cannot take the criticism to heart and instead plans to use it as motivation to bounce back and remind fans of their quality in the new season.

“Every fan is entitled to their own opinion but you cannot take all the negative things that are said out there to heart,” Makola tells

“The best thing you can do is to bounce back quite strong. It [criticism] happens all over the world with footballers.

“We have taken those negative things that have been said out there and used it in a positive way. It’s something that helps to build you as a player to bounce back really strong.”

With Pirates blooding in young talent from their Multichoice Diski Challenge side, such as Tercious Malepe and Yusuf Maart, Makola feels the senior contingent are still needed to pass down the club’s culture and values into the new crop of players that have come in.

“It’s important for us [seniors] to instil the Pirates culture into the young players coming through because all of them look up to us,” he adds.

“You can’t afford to set a foot wrong, so everything we do has to be in the right manner so that they can take note of what you did and try and do it themselves.”

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