DURBAN – Siphelele Ntshangase was Kaizer Chiefs' main weapon in the first few matches of the season but he hasn’t featured in the past three matches for Amakhosi.
Chiefs coach, Giovanni Solinas, explained why the fan favourite has struggled for game time recently.
“In the last three games we played Katsande (Willard) and Maluleka (George) and then Katsande and Dux (Aro Andrianarimanana) because at the moment we need more balance in the midfield. In the last three games we haven’t conceded a goal.
The fact that we haven’t conceded a goal, it is not only because the defence has done well but the midfielders have done well in front of the defenders. Ntshangase is a very good player but he is more offensive. He is an attacking midfielder," Solinas said.
Ntshangase was on the bench last weekend when Chiefs got the better of SuperSport United at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban in the Telkom Knockout. It was the same story again on Wednesday against Black Leopards and this past weekend against Chippa United in the league.
Chiefs shared the spoils with Chippa United at Moses Mabhida Stadium in a 0-0 stalemate in a game that was played behind closed doors.
“At the moment we need two (defensive) midfielders. We need two pitbulls to recover the ball. I believe in Ntshangase. He started the process to improve our defensive (organisation). Ntshangase is very good on the ball. He will play again in the future,” he added.
Amakhosi have struggled for consistency this season.
“We played two games in six days and Chippa didn’t play midweek. Chippa were fresh. We also had no supporters today. I’m happy that we have finished our ban. I don’t like to play without our supporters. This is not football.
Football is beautiful when we play it in front of our supporters. The players also don’t play with the same energy they usually have when the supporters are in the stands. The supporters push you," Solinas said.
Chiefs were lucky to get the point against a Chilli Boys side that played with purpose and hunger.
“We wanted three points. My boys fought for the victory. I’m disappointed about the result but I’m very happy about the performance of my players. I really appreciated their efforts and the commitment. Now we have the Fifa break and we needed this break to recover our energy and focus on the next game because the next game is the derby, “ Solinas said.
Solinas insisted that he is not feeling any pressure despite the inconsistent results.
“Coaches are always under pressure but I’m feeling good. I’m not feeling any pressure. I’m happy. I have confidence in my boys. Chiefs are improving. I’m optimistic about the future. I’m comfortable and I have no pressure.”
Chiefs face Pirates on 24 November at Moses Mabhida in the semi-finals of the Telkom Knockout.