Sibongiseni Gumbi
Football Writer
2 minute read
19 Feb 2020
1:30 pm

Khune plays cup games, Akpeyi plays league games, says Middendorp

Sibongiseni Gumbi

The coach spoke in defence of goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi whose mistake led to Maritzburg United’s first goal in last weekend 2-1 defeat.

Ernst Middendorp, coach of Kaizer Chiefs (Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix)

Kaizer Chiefs coach Ernst Middendorp sarcastically praised the club’s supporters as being intelligent people who understood that players made costly mistakes sometimes and wouldn’t shoot them down for it.

READ: Chiefs coach Middendorp not prepared to risk Khune

Akpeyi has been getting stick from the supporters for the error with some going as far as claiming that he should be permanently replaced by Itumeleng Khune in the No.1 position.

“Let me make one statement, our supporters on the Kaizer Chiefs side are very smart, very intelligent. They don’t get carried away just because there was a small mistake and we conceded. We have seen a fantastic Daniel Akpeyi saving us in the final stage at some point saving penalty. He was very crucial in other games too and as everybody knows he was the player of the month several times. We have seen it over seven months, please guys… Everybody who observes and follows Kaizer Chiefs will know exactly what a goalkeeper like Akpeyi has done during the run of the season.

“There is no way in this moment for me, for us and for each and everybody in this so-called family who is ignoring it,” said Middendorp. He also revealed that Khune will play in the Nedbank Cup games while Akpeyi will continue being No.1 in the Absa Premiership.

“How we make a decision is always based on what happens here on the field. How the guys are performing, we discuss it every day at 8 o’clock in our meeting where we go through the players and make our impressions about them.

“That’s the situation. We started the Nedbank Cup against Royal Eagles and Itu Khune was the goalkeeper. We have the next round of the Nedbank Cup and we did it last year with Bruce (Bvuma) in the cup competition and we are doing it now and that’s the decision for Saturday we will do it with Itumeleng Khune, nothing else,” explained the 61-year-old mentor.

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