Sibongiseni Gumbi
Football writer
2 minute read
29 Jul 2020
7:10 pm

Khune keen for Kaizer Chiefs ‘keepers to stay sharp

Sibongiseni Gumbi

Kaizer Chiefs star Itumeleng Khune says the club’s keepers are working hard to ensure the rustiness displayed by David De Gea and Kasper Schmeichel, when the English Premier League (EPL) resumed, does not happen to Amakhosi in the Absa Premiership.

Itumeleng Khune of Kaizer Chiefs comes under fire for partying. Picture: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix.

“I realise that the break, due to this Covid-19 pandemic affected a lot of keepers, including Manchester United’s David de Gea and Leicester City’s Kasper Schmeichel. They did not seem to have the same confidence as before the break. There was clearly a lot of rustiness,” Khune old the club’s official website.

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“Luckily, we have had a bit more time to prepare before the league restarts. We have also discussed various aspects in our ‘Keeper Corner’, which is us goalies communicating with our goalkeeper coach Lee Baxter. It is basically about learning from the past to go forward. Going back into the field will all be about mental strength… We just need to be ready come 11 August,” added Khune.

Khune has failed to dislodge Daniel Akpeyi since his return from injury earlier in the year, with the Nigerian continuing to command the No.1 position in Ernst Middendorp’s team. Amakhosi were top of the standings with a four-point cushion when the games were stopped in mid-March due to the outbreak and spread of COVID-19.

Khune says it will be important for them to hit the ground running and just pick up where they had left off. But, ironically, Amakhosi had suffered a deflating 1-0 defeat to lowly AmaZulu FC in their last game before the break.

“It’s important for us to continue where we left off,” said. He said they were lucky to have had some time to returning to fitness before the games resume. Amakhosi returned to raining on 1 July after fulfilling all the biological safety protocols at their Naturena base.

“Luckily, we have new technology, like the Zoom mobile app, via which we could have video communication. This helped the coaches to guide us on exercises to keep fit. It was a frustrating time, as we missed being on the field. (But) We just had to hang in there,” he said.

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