Shabba: ‘It isn’t about me’
SOUTH AFRICAN midfielder Siphiwe Tshabalala (pictured) has reflected on his Erzurumspor debut in Turkey and refuses to get carried away by the warm embrace from the supporters.
Tshabalala managed a dream move to Europe from Kaizer Chiefs last month, and has enjoyed a remarkable reception since his arrival at Erzurumspor.
The 33-year-old made his first official appearance for the club earlier this month, when he came on as an 81st minute substitute in the Turkish Super Lig. The Bafana Bafana stalwart has since expressed satisfaction over his maiden run-out, although admits it was bitter-sweet given the team’s 1-0 defeat at home to Basaksehir.
“I was very happy to play my first game for the club, but I was disappointed with the result,” Tshabalala told Turkish sports publication Sporx.
“The reception from the crowd was very humbling and welcoming, and I appreciate that. I was expecting a huge crowd because I’ve been following the club on social media, so I was excited to see a full stadium.”
“Shabba” could make his second appearance when domestic action resumes this weekend, with Erzurumspor set to visit Sivasspor tomorrow evening.
Though the club have yet to pick up a league victory this season — much like his former employers in the Absa Premiership — the veteran attacker is buoyed by their preparations for the upcoming tie and vows that they will improve their log position.
“So far so good in terms of our preparations, everyone’s been working very hard. We know the expectations, we know we’re not in a good position on the log currently,” he added.
“However, that’s not the final destination. We will keep fighting and we’ll do ourselves and our supporters proud.”
Having risen to prominence on the global stage following his 2010 Fifa World Cup opening goal on home soil, Tshabalala has remained grounded with regards to fans’ expectations of him.
“Most supporters have already given me a nickname – they call me ‘Dada Tshabalala’. With regards to the expectations, I appreciate the love from the supporters and I’ll always do my best, but it’s not about me, the team comes first,” he concluded. — KickOff.