FORGOTTEN Black Leopards star Thuso Phala needs to pull up his socks if he wants to continue his career.

Phala has not played for the relegation threatened side this year, missing six consecutive league matches of 2020.

And Lidoda Duvha fans have been asking about the 33-year-old’s whereabouts as he has not been seen on the bench or at the stadiums.

The last time Phala played for Leopards was in their 2-1 defeat by Orlando Pirates on 21 December at Orlando Stadium.

A source told SunSport that Phala, who joined Leopards at the beginning of this season, has not impressed the technical staff and teammates at training.

“Thuso is not injured. Cavin Johnson (who resigned last week) was just trying to protect him,” said the source.

“He (Thuso) has been training with the team all the time. The only problem the technical team has with him (Thuso) is that he is not giving his best at training. He will be back in the team if he works hard like any other player.”

Since the former SuperSport United and Kaizer Chiefs winger signed with Leopards, the Soweto-born star has not added value or stepped up to the plate according to his usual standard.

The other big name that joined Leopards with Phala and has been doing well is Thabo Matlaba from Orlando Pirates. Matlaba is now the captain of the team.

Asked if Phala will be available when the 14th placed Leopards clash with Bidvest Wits in an Absa Premiership match tonight 7:30pm at the Bidvest Stadium, the Venda-based side’s interim coach Allan Clark said: “Thuso is a great player with great quality. I have a squad of 32 players and all deserve respect. I have played one game and the team won the match. So we have to respect the players that won the match and continue with them.”

This is an indication that Phala might miss tonight’s match as well.

Victory for Leopards will see them boost their chances of surviving relegation.

However, it won’t be easy for the former AmaZulu assistant coach, who will be in charge of Leopards for the second match as Gavin Hunt’s team are fighting to close the gap between themselves and leaders Chiefs.