By Lehlohonolo Lehana.
Photo Credit: Muzi Ntombela.
Kaizer Chiefs coach Gavin Hunt has explained the absence of club captain and former first-choice goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune.
Chiefs might have gone through their last four games unbeaten, winning three of them to climb up to seventh place in the DStv Premiership standings but coach Hunt insists it has not been good enough.
"I’m not happy with our points tally, no not at all. Obviously we had a horrendous start, we haven’t done well. But we have shown a little more now, as we’ve gone on, and it’s important for us to try and improve every week and every game and try and get better, " said Hunt in the wake of the goalless draw at Stellenbosch FC at the weekend.
Chiefs have 17 points from 13 games and they are only 10 off the top of the table with the season approaching the midway point.
"It’s still a long way to go, it isn’t even halfway. A long way to go," he added.
Th Soweto giants have two more games this week, with Baroka FC at home at Soccer City tomorrow night and Orlando Pirates away in the derby at the Orlando Stadium on Saturday.
Hunt said he could not rest any players on Tuesday with an eye on the derby: "I cannot rest anybody because we don’t have players. We’ve got to just keep playing.
"If you score yourself give yourself a lift, it gives you something to hold onto and makes you better.
"But I’m not even thinking about the derby as yet but Baroka on Tuesday is our focus."
Hunt has also commented on the prolonged absence of club captain and mzansi's finest Khune.
Khune has yet to feature for Chiefs in 2021 and, in fact, has not been part of the match-day squad for the side's last six games in all competitions.
The 33-year-old, who has conceded 10 goals in five DStv Premiership games this season, last played in Amakhosi's 2-1 defeat to SuperSport United on 15 December last year.
So, there's a lot of competition and people need to work hard to get back in the team," said Hunt.
Chiefs boss added that the ball is in Khune's court and if he works very hard‚ remains fit‚ impresses at training and proves to the technical team that he is better than the players he’s competing with for a starting berth‚ then he will regain his place and play.
But if he is not able to meet these challenges and come to the party‚ he is not likely to see the jersey in a very long time.
Khune was given lot of chances at the start of the season but contrived to fluff them when he gave the ball away to opponents who duly thanked him for his generosity and scored in league games against Black Leopards (2-2) and SuperSport (1-2).
The match against SuperSport on December 15 proved to be Khune's last appearance and Daniel Akpeyi has assumed the No1 jersey since‚ with Chiefs losing only one game against Maritzburg United (2-0).
Chiefs drew two matches against Bloemfontein Celtic (1-1) and Stellenbosch (0-0) and won the other three against AmaZulu (1-0)‚ Cape Town City (2-1) and Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila (3-0).