Kaizer Chiefs coach Gavin Hunt could have some tough calls to make this weekend, as some of his big name fringe players look to get some action against lower division opposition in the Nedbank Cup.
Amakhosi have had their fair share of disappointment against lower division opponents in the Nedbank Cup in the past, getting knocked out by the likes of Baroka FC, University of Pretoria FC Cape Town and Black Leopards in the past. They have been drawn to play Richards Bay in the last 32 on Saturday, February 6, at FNB Stadium as they look to bounce back from the Soweto Derby defeat to Orlando Pirates over the weekend.
This is a game Hunt could be tempted to play some of the fringe players to rest some of the team’s key players, considering it’s lower division opponents, but Amakhosi are not in the type of situation where they can afford to take those type of risks.
Club captain Itumeleng Khune has made some costly errors this season and was dropped by Hunt in December. He has not featured since then, with Daniel Akpeyi getting the nod to start matches. Khune has played just five league matches this season.
Another player itching for action is Siphelele Ntshangase.
Hunt recently said players such as Ntshangase need to work harder to get into the team and there’s probably no better game for the midfielder to come in and try convince his coach that he deserves more opportunities in the line-up. The likes of Lazarous Kambole and Siphosakhe Ntiya-Ntiya will be hoping to get an opportunity.
Former Chiefs player Robson Muchichwa says while Hunt should guard against making too many changes, it will be good for some of the fringe players to get a chance, especially after the defeat to Pirates.
“For me it will be good to see other players getting an opportunity to play, because the team lost its last game, so if they are some changes in the team, it will be good, to give other like Ntshangase and Khune a chance,” Muchichwa tells the Siya crew.
“But at the moment it’s also a gamble because Chiefs needs to win something, you know. You need to give other players an opportunity. It’s a small team, but that does not mean Chiefs should take them for granted. They need to be cautious and go all out to try win the game.
“Someone like Khune needs to work extra harder to get back to the Khune that we know. It won’t happen overnight or in one game. But it will be good for him to get an opportunity and try bring back his confidence.”
View images from Amakhosi’s Soweto Derby defeat to Orlando Pirates: