Maritzburg United coach Muhsin Ertugral and new assistant Mabhuti Khenyeza are all smiles in Pietermaritzburg on Thursday. Photo: Minenhle Mkhize

PIETERMARITZBURG – Muhsin Ertugral and Mabhudi Khenyeza have cleared the air about the murmurs that are circulating on social media regarding the rocky relationship they once had at Kaizer Chiefs.

The duo will be working together as coaches for Maritzburg United after Khenyeza was confirmed as Ertugral’s assistant on Thursday.

Ertugral replaced Fadlu Davids as the head coach recently, while Khenyeza will take over the reigns as an assistant coach.

The Team of Choice also parted ways with Maahier Davids, who was assisting Fadlu Davids.

Khenyeza and Ertugral signed two-and-a-half-year deals with the struggling United side.

The pair once had a difficult relationship during their stint at Kaizer Chiefs, but also worked together at Ajax Cape Town.

Social media went viral when IOL Sport broke the news a few days ago that Khenyeza would become Ertugral’s assistant coach, with some readers saying it was an April Fools’ joke in December.

Ertugral made it clear that they are not enemies when he was addressing the media alongside Khenyeza in Pietermaritzburg on Thursday.

“Let us clear the air. It is made by you guys. The problem is made by you guys. You know that I can turn from being a friendly to a very straightforward guy. We never had a problem. We once had a problem,” the Turkish mentor said.

“I don’t understand. Maybe you lost it at that time. We saved Ajax Cape Town together. Do you remember? I don’t know why it was not written at that time that we worked together. Now you are going to what happened 10 years ago.”

Khenyeza left AmaZulu with immediate effect after being approached by Ertugral. He was still contracted with Usuthu to the end of the season.

“We’ve continued to work together. This industry, sometimes it is a war zone. You don’t need to agree all the time. What happened at that time happened in that time. I don’t how many years have we been speaking together about football,” Ertugral said.

“I always believed that after football, he will have a great career as a coach because he has that eagerness to get in and be better every day.

“We’ve talked long about it (the fight they had at Chiefs). I couldn’t find any better assistant coach than Mabhuti.”

Khenyeza also explained that there’s no bad blood between him and Ertugral.

“We’ve been communicating most of the times. We did a World Cup (sharing ideas). When the games were playing, we were communicating. He knows what I know. I’ve learned a lot from him. We are always exchanging ideas all the time.

“We always talk about football. What happened a long time ago, the media never followed up on that. We saved Ajax Cape Town. He wanted me to stay, but I had to move, and again we kept on communicating,” Khenyeza elaborated.

United are languishing at the bottom of the table with 11 points after 14 games. They have registered one victory in 14 outings, which is a dramatic fall down the pecking order for a team that finished in the top four last season.

“Even last season when he was with Ajax, we were still talking when they were trying to fight relegation. I will watch some of their games and express my opinions. When they win, I would say ‘Well done, coach’. We never lost communication at all,” Khenyeza explained.

The Team of Choice will visit Lamontville Golden Arrows in the KwaZulu-Natal derby on Sunday at 3.30pm at Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium in Clermont in the battle for maximum points.

Abafana Bes’thende are also under the new leadership of Steve Komphela, who replaced Clinton Larsen.


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