Cape Town - Kaizer Chiefs coach Ernst Middendorp has returned
fire against those who believe Itumeleng Khune should be picked ahead of Daniel
Khune returned to action for the win over Royal Eagles in
the Nedbank Cup, after a long injury layoff, but was then relegated to the
bench as Akpeyi returned to the starting line-up against Maritzburg United in
the league on Saturday.
Unfortunately for Middendorp, Akpeyi made a big mistake in
that game which led to a goal for United and resulted in a backlash from
supporters who felt vindicated in their criticism.
However, the German tactician has hit back at his critics
and insisted that the Chiefs goalkeeping department has the knowledge to make
the right calls when it comes to selecting who guards the goal.
"Often I'm not in charge of what is written (in the media).
I know it's something where the entire (support-base) looks into it - 'This one
must play; this one must play,'" said Middendorp, as quoted by KickOff.
"Are you really convinced that our goalkeeper coaching
department is not able to see what's going on; to see what's happened and when
is the right timing (to select a player)?
"Are you really thinking we just do, because of
whatever... There was a player, he had been thrown in too early, and I said it
in October, from one week to another one, and what happened? Out for three-four
"Even with Khama Billiat, there was a very clear plan -
I hope he comes through - to play him 60 minutes, but he was quite excited, so
he stayed on for 90 minutes.
"It was a high risk, and we really have to look into it
individually, how far a player is prepared to play week-in, week-out for 90
minutes or every two or three days.
"I see the headlines already; you don't have to have a
magic wand to see all the headlines tomorrow - it makes it not easy for the
entire goalkeeper department."