Absa Premiership

Middendorp defends non-selection of fan-favourite Khune

2020-02-18 11:07
Itumeleng Khune
Itumeleng Khune (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Kaizer Chiefs coach Ernst Middendorp has returned fire against those who believe Itumeleng Khune should be picked ahead of Daniel Akpeyi.

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 months again.

"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."


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