Johannesburg - Having seen his personal tally reach six goals this season, Kaizer Chiefs midfielder Reneilwe Letsholonyane has come out in defence of Chiefs’ strikers who have so far struggled to find the back of the net.
“People criticise strikers because their primary job is to score goals, but sometimes they don’t see that for us midfielders to score goals, it’s the strikers who create goals,” Letsholonyane said at Amakhosi’s training base in Johannesburg on Tuesday.
“It works both ways. If a striker doesn’t score but he creates for other players, it’s still teamwork and it’s part of their job.”
Letsholonyane has been in tremendous form during the club's nine games in both league and MTN8 action.
He has combined with fellow midfielders Mandla Masango, George Lebese and George Maluleka to score the bulk of the goals this season.
Kingston Nkhatha and Katlego Mphela have both bagged a goal apiece, but that is as far as the strikers' contribution goes for the Soweto giants, who face fierce rivals, Orlando Pirates, in the final of the MTN8, in Durban, on Saturday evening.
“I’m doing well now and I’m hoping that I’ll do well on Saturday and carry on where I left off with my performance,” Letsholonyane added.
“It’s the last game of the tournament so we have to finish what we started. By doing that, we have to be consistent with what we have done in the previous games.
“I’m happy that we’re taking part in one of the biggest games in the country.”
Looking at his season so far, the veteran playmaker said he was pleased to have been able to contribute to Chiefs’ efforts, but resisted revealing the secrets to his success in 2014.
“I’ve been doing what I’ve done in all the seasons. I’ve been getting into the box, scoring goals… except for last season.
“I’d like to give credit to my teammates and to the technical team for the help and the belief they’ve always given me and I don’t think there’s anything different that I’ve done this season.
“It’s the same thing we’ve done with our coach and the players over the past seasons.”
With regular first-choice goalkeeper and captain Itumeleng Khune ruled out for up to two months with an ankle injury, Letsholonyane is in the running to be handed the captain’s armband on Saturday.
Despite being ready to lead the team, Letsholonyane said there were a number of contenders.
“We have five captains but the whole team -- the entire 11 or 15 players -- are captains. Anyone who is given the [arm] band on the day is the one who is chosen for the day.
“But on the field, there are 11 captains and I will take charge if given the opportunity.”