KAIZER Chiefs coach and captain Stuart Baxter and Itumeleng Khune have strongly criticised their fans for their unruly behaviour against the team striker, Kingston Nkatha.
The two influential figures at Chiefs were speaking ahead of their Saturday afternoon’s big match against traditional arch-rivals Orlando Pirates at the FNB Stadium in Nasrec (kick-off at 3.30pm).
Lately Nkatha has been receiving a rough reception by the Chiefs fans who boo at him while at the same time showing signs of disapproval whenever in possession.
Baxter said he don’t care about the fans’ bad behaviour on Nkatha. “He is my player and I am the coach and I am very happy with what he offers me both at training and in the field of play. I don’t care about their signs of disapproval towards the player because at the end of the day I get what I want from him,” said Baxter.
Khune echoed on Baxter’ statement, saying: “Nkatha is one of our best player in the team and our fans should not forget how he contributed in the past season. It is so unfair to see them treating like this, please think of his best moment at the club and how he created and scored some good goals which helped us win double last season.”
About the game against Pirates Khune said they were anticipating a very difficult match against Pirates. Bad news is that they are likely to do without Knowledge Musona and Simphiwe Tshabalala.
“They (Pirates) are at their best form and are highly motivated after reaching the final match of CAF African Championship plus the semi-finals of the Telkom Knockout. As for us we are also motivated after our hard-fought away victory over Free State Stars under those difficult conditions,” added Khune who is also vying for the Star of the Year Award in the forthcoming South Africa Sports Awards.
On the other hand ironically, Orlando Pirated coach Rodger de Sa could say any good news about the club’s captain Lucky “Phinda Mzala” Lekgwhathi who is seems to have fell out of favour with the technical team.
De Sa said it is very normal for some of the players not to be in the starting line-up and Lekgwathi can’t be singled out.
“Lucky Lekgwathi is just like other players such as Ndumiso Mabena, Collins Mbesuma and many others and he must prove himself that he has what it takes to be in the starting line up,” said an emotional De Sa.
Pirates captain, Happy Jele said they were looking forward to win this match against Chiefs and keep their momentum going.
“We know it is going to be a difficult one, more so because we have been playing so many games within a short space of time and the derby comes at the time when we needed a little rest. That however should not be seen as an excuse,” said Jele who also admitted that captaining a big club like Pirates has been a tough assignment, and this time it will even be worse as it will be a derby.