Absa Premiership

'We had a problem with Nurkovic', says Kaitano Tembo

2019-08-26 13:50
Samir Nurkovic
Samir Nurkovic (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - SuperSport United coach Kaitano Tembo believes Samir Nurkovic offers Kaizer Chiefs a different option with his aerial prowess and causes defences problems.

Serbian striker Nurkovic, who joined Chiefs at the beginning of July, grabbed his maiden Amakhosi goal in the 1-1 draw with Matsatsantsa at FNB Stadium on Saturday.

The 27-year-old has started all three of Chiefs' matches this season and has shown his quality with his vision, hold-up play, ability in the air and eye for goal.

With Nurkovic in the side, the Glamour Boys are able to change to a more direct style of play when needed and Tembo admitted that Chiefs are a different proposition with him in the side.

"I think we struggled with the ball over the top. With Nurkovic, a different type of player, strong in the air. He was winning everything," said Tembo.

“We had a problem dealing with him. I think he’s a very good striker and it was the first time our defence played against someone like that.

“He can hold the ball; he’s a good player technically as well and he’s also got a football brain. He makes the right decisions and he gave us a lot of problems.

“I think probably he could have grabbed a hat-trick if he had [been more clinical]; I saw he had two one-on-ones. But, to be fair, I think a draw was a fair result.”

Amakhosi mentor Ernst Middendorp echoed Tembo's sentiments and believes that the Soweto giants have acquired a gem.

“Samir is definitely a player with the potential to create, assist and his willingness is definitely there to score himself, but he has a certain brain capacity to see the runs of players,” Middendorp added.

“But let’s be fair, he’s totally in a new environment, coming from another continent and this is definitely something where, yes, I need to take onto my own shoulders - I’m overloading him a little bit at the moment because we need him.

“With Kearyn Baccus or James Kotei, I have a little bit of time to get the capacity to become options of coming in, but with Samir, currently, I have to think about what we’re doing on Tuesday.

“It’s very dangerous to load him in this way, I know it’s risky but he’s a very professional player and he’s doing everything possible to be prepared for the next game.”


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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
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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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