Orlando Pirates assistant coach Fadlu Davids has explained why striker Tshegofatso Mabasa has fallen down the pecking order after enjoying a good start to the season.

Mabasa enjoyed a good start to his career at the Buccaneers, scoring six goals in his first ten appearances in the league this campaign.

He was being touted as the next big thing in South African football, and even earned rave reviews from Bafana Bafana legend Benni McCarthy.

However, the former Bloemfontein Celtic marksman has found game time difficult to come by under new Pirates coach Josef Zinnbauer with Gabadinho Mhango since becoming the league's top-scorer.

Davids shed some light on the situation at Pirates: "Of course, Tshegofatso has been in form and he's our second top scorer after 'Gaba' [Mhango], but it's the case for players like Justin Shonga and Zakhele Lepasa as well.

"The competition is really high, and I think that has been our strength, with 'Gaba' knowing that if he drops his guard then another striker will come in and take his place.

"We know Tshegofatso's quality and we know he can score goals, but so can Shonga and Lepasa, which is what makes the competition so high - not only for Mabasa but all players.

"Knowing that if one is out then the next one can come in and do a similar job, if not threaten to take over his position - that is the most important thing in terms of the squad."

Orlando Pirates will look to bounce back from their defeat in the Soweto derby last weekend against Kaizer Chiefs when they take on Golden Arrows on Saturday (6pm). - Sport24