Absa Premiership

Middendorp: Castro performance doesn't sideline Nurkovic

2019-10-14 09:17
Bradley Ralani and Leonardo Castro
Bradley Ralani and Leonardo Castro (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Ernst Middendorp insists Samir Nurkovic won't necessarily lose his place in the Kaizer Chiefs first team, despite Leonardo Castro's match-winning performance in the Shell Helix Cup final.

Castro was given a starting berth ahead of Middendorp's first-choice striker Samir Nurkovic on Saturday, and the Colombian grabbed the opportunity with conviction as he netted a first-half hat-trick against his former side Mamelodi Sundowns to lead Amakhosi to a 4-2 victory.

Despite Castro's ruthless display in front of goal, Middendorp has explained that Nurkovic won't simply be sidelined that easily.

George Maluleka, Reeve Frosler, and Itumeleng Khune also missed out on selection for the final at FNB Stadium.

"There are players who didn't get enough chance to play in the last eight games, but it [Castro's performance against the Brazilians] doesn't mean all of a sudden a player like Samir Nurkovic is a bad player or Reeve Frosler is a bad player or George Maluleka or Itu Khune," the Chiefs coach told the press.

"I don't think that's how we should look at it. We know that yellow cards are coming and we've seen injuries flying, and then you have to be prepared. We need these players. We have seen some of the players in but I know the value of other players.

"I am very happy about him [Castro] showing up and we have another week... playing next Saturday and let's see."

He added: "Players are starting full training and I personally enjoyed to have these number of players with certain qualities, and not only having the first 11, 12 or 13. I think it developed itself out."

Kaizer Chiefs next face a trip to Cape Town to face Benni McCarthy's Cape Town City in the first round of the Telkom Knockout on Saturday.

Kick-off is at 15:00.

- TeamTalk Media


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Tuesday, 26 November 2019
Mamelodi Sundowns v AmaZulu, Loftus Versfeld Stadium 19:30
Highlands Park v Wits, Makhulong Stadium 19:30
Orlando Pirates v Polokwane City, Orlando Stadium 19:30
Wednesday, 27 November 2019
Stellenbosch v Kaizer Chiefs, Cape Town Stadium 19:30
Bloemfontein Celtic v Cape Town City, Dr Molemela Stadium 19:30
Maritzburg United v SuperSport United, Harry Gwala Stadium 19:30
Chippa United v Black Leopards, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium 19:30
Baroka FC v Golden Arrows, Peter Mokaba Stadium 19:30
Saturday, 30 November 2019
Polokwane City v Bloemfontein Celtic, Old Peter Mokaba Stadium 15:30
Cape Town City v Highlands Park, Cape Town Stadium 18:00
Black Leopards v Golden Arrows, Thohoyandou Stadium 18:00
SuperSport United v Stellenbosch, Lucas Moripe Stadium 20:15
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