Junior Khanye appears to be losing hope that his former club Kaizer Chiefs could win the Absa Premiership, though Amakhosi are still in control and in the lead at the top of the standings.
Following their 2-1 loss to Maritzburg United at the weekend, Chiefs are now leading second-placed Orlando Pirates by six points, though the Buccaneers have played a match extra than their perennial rivals.
Chiefs lead third-placed Mamelodi Sundowns by seven points, with the Chloorkop outfit having one game in hand.
“I said it when Chiefs was leading about 12 points on the log that I wasn’t convinced. People said I hate the club and always criticizing. People said I was bitter because I was no longer playing for the club and all that. Let me make this clear once and for all, I’ve got nothing against Kaizer Chiefs. I love the team very much as I grew up there. The brand is big and nobody can take that away from the club. That’s the club that gave me a platform, and I was seen by junior national team scouts playing for Kaizer Chiefs. I’m talking about the U20, U23 and Bafana Bafana teams,” said Khanye.
Chiefs’ next league match will be against Pirates at the end of the month. The focus for coach Ernst Middendorp and the team this week will be on the Nedbank Cup Last 16 fixture against Highlands Park at Makhulong Stadium on Saturday.
“The only problem I have with Chiefs is how the team plays this season. They are very, very predictable. Chiefs should realize that for the other teams it is always a motivation playing against them. I don’t see them (Chiefs) winning this league,” the outspoken player added.
“The difference now between them and Sundowns is only seven points, and Sundowns have a game in hand, although a game in hand doesn’t necessarily mean points in the bag. But anything can happen. For me, the game against Maritzburg was proof that Chiefs might struggle to win this league. That’s the game Chiefs should have won. Coach Eric Tinker’s plan was very simple and Chiefs should have capitalised on it. For example, he (Tinkler) had (Phumlani) Ntshangase playing at right back in the first half, which is not his natural possition, and Siyanda Xulu was sometimes in the middle of the park. He had (Daylon) Claasen and (Mxolisi) Kunene on the wings, knowing very well that Chiefs like to play with full-backs, so he wanted to stop them by putting those two guys on the wings so as to cut the supply to the strikers. Tinkler was tactically spot on in the first half. He also pushed (Tebogo) Tlolane to add numbers up front,” Khanye told the Siya crew.