Rulani Mokwena: Peter Shalulile is exempt from criticism

Rulani Mokwena: Peter Shalulile is exempt from criticism

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Rulani Mokwena has said striker Peter Shalulile is exempt from criticism for getting fewer goals this season.

The Namibian international has not been his sharp self during the 2023/24 campaign, managing just 13 goals over 36 games so far. 

Shalulile was prolific this time last year, with 23 goals from 34 matches, but Mokwena has explained how he is managing the forward. 

"I talk to him [in person], I speak to him on the phone, I have late night conversations with Peter, and I also praise parts of his game that you expect from a striker, and he does some exceptional work for us," said Mokwena.

"From the criticism of not playing a [Siyabonga] Mabena more regularly, I have to be exempt from that because if there is a coach that has shown over the years that he believes in youngsters, it is me – the record is there to speak for itself.

"And I think that's Peter. If there is someone that is exempt – from this Mamelodi Sundowns – from criticism about not scoring goals, it's Peter Shalulile because the track record speaks for itself."

Mokwena reminded those who’ve been hard on the 30-year-old that he remains a quality player who, at times, needs an arm around his shoulder too. 

"I always say this, and it's so important because it transcends football – every human being wants to feel loved and appreciated, and love and appreciation is not only in the good moments," he added.

"It's also in the bad moments, and that's where genuine, true love is. And when a player like Peter, who gives his heart and soul every single day; when he's on the pitch, even if he doesn't score, he runs, presses and creates chances for others.

"These types of players are allowed a couple of off days – you forgive them for having a couple of off days because the good days far outweigh the bad days."

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