Bafana Bafana coach Molefi Ntseki has revealed what he told Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune before his senior national team call-up for the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Ghana and Sudan later this month.
Khune has come under-fire for some of his errors in recent weeks, more recently in a 4-0 hammering at the hands of Moroccan outfit Wydad Casablanca in the CAF Champions League group C tie played in Burkina Faso.
Despite his struggles, Khune has been called up to the senior national team for the clashes against Ghana (March 25) and Sudan (March 28). Ntseki has revealed what he told Khune over a telephonic conversation before announcing his squad on Thursday, March 4.
“When it comes to Itumeleng Khune, me made glaring mistakes against SuperSport and Black Leopards. When I spoke to (goalkeeper) coach Lee Baxter about the situation, he said to me they brought Itumeleng Khune into a meeting to find out what actually happened. As Itumeleng Khune was explaining the situation, it was just one of those mistakes that you make in your career that you want to forget as quickly as possible, because he said to them he was trying to play from the back and, as a result, they read into the pass and he made that mistake,” Ntseki told media after announcing his 26-man squad.
“Recently I also spoke to Itumeleng about his situation. We had a very lengthy telephonic discussion and he was explaining to me what he is going through as a person. What I said to him is that ‘you must also consider giving respect to your career and giving respect to the profession you are in. You are not growing any younger, (so) it’s also important for you to be a leader in terms of how you do things’. When it comes to training and his conduct at the club, the coach is very happy with him in terms of being on time for training and in also giving his best. Seeing him playing in the past two matches, it was based on the attitude he was showing at training and the club felt that they need to give him a chance. He has since been doing well, apart from conceding the four goals against (Wydad) Casablanca over the weekend. Any human being has got those bad patches in life and I think Itumeleng Khune is not different. We are just looking forward to bringing in an Itumeleng Khune who will be focused in the camp and who will help the team going forward.”