Cape Town - Kaizer Chiefs have hit back at a newspaper report claiming that a 'bad attitude' has kept Itumeleng Khune 'out of goal' at the club.
Khune missed three months of the current season with an ankle injury, but is fit again and returned to the match-day squad for the match against Chippa United last weekend as an un-used substitute.
In his absence, AmaKhosi reserve team keeper Brilliant Khuzwayo has not only acquitted himself very well at club level, but has also worked himself into the Bafana Bafana set-up.
The article published by the Citizen newspaper's website on Friday more than suggested that Khune is having disciplinary problems.
A photograph of the former Bafana Bafana captain outside the Lyttelton Magistrates Court on January 28, 2014 after a brief appearance for speeding violation accompanied the story, part of which read as follows: "The Citizen understands Amakhosi coach Stuart Baxter wanted to bring Khune back in the December 6 Soweto derby against Orlando Pirates.
"However, his participation was said to have been overruled by Chiefs management, who are 'not impressed' by the behaviour Khune has displayed since returning from injury.
"Chiefs are not happy with his attitude. He wants to be bigger than the brand and they also feel Brilliant Khuzwayo has done well," The Citizen quoted an un-named source as saying.
The response from AmaKhosi was swift, with the club issuing an unsigned statement, which read: "Kaizer Chiefs want to refute in the strongest words the article that appeared in today's The Citizen. In the story it was suggested that a 'bad attitude' has kept our goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune 'out of goal'.
"Firstly, we don't have any player with an attitude problem in our squad. Our coach Stuart Baxter often talks about the great camaraderie in the camp. Hence, our great run in the season so far.
"Secondly, Khune had a serious injury and he has been working extremely hard to return to full fitness.
"Furthermore, the story suggests that the Chiefs management 'overruled' coach Baxter's selection of Khune. People with the insight of the workings of the Amakhosi will know that at our club the management and the board do not get involved in the selection of players.
"It's the prerogative of the coach and his technical staff to select the squad and, accordingly, the team to play on match day.
"What is worrying is that the reporter who wrote the article was informed by Kaizer Chiefs' football management that at our club we do things professionally and that there is no interference with the coach's job. Still, the allegations were kept in the story.
"We find The Citizen story irresponsible, written without any substance, and therefore totally unacceptable."