The German-born mentor is again under pressure to bring the 32-year-old goalkeeper back following a blunder by the Nigeria international on Saturday
Kaizer Chiefs coach Ernst Middendorp again had to defend his decision to bench Itumeleng Khune for Daniel Akpeyi this past weekend.
The Nigeria international returned to the starting line-up after being rested in Amakhosi’s 1-0 win over Royal Eagles in the Nedbank Cup.
However, he made a goalkeeping error which led to Maritzburg United‘s first goal this past weekend, and Middendorp was asked if he intends to bring Khune back any time.
He said he is well aware the country wants Khune to start, but questioned whether or not his goalkeeping department headed by Lee Baxter, doesn’t know what they are doing by continuously selecting Akpeyi ahead of Mzansi’s No.1.
“I know it’s something that the entire country is looking into [that Khune must start ahead of Daniel Akpeyi],” Middendorp told reporters.
“This one must play, this one must play but are you really convinced that our goalkeeping coaching department is not able to see what’s going on and when the time is right? Are you really thinking we just do because whatever?” a visibly annoyed Middendorp asked.
Middendorp hinted one of the reasons Khune hasn’t been a regular is because of his struggles with injuries, especially after rushing him back in October last year only to be out of action for months.
“There was a player thrown in, and I said it in October that he was thrown in too early. Totally from one week to another and what then happened? Out for three to four months again,” argued the 61-year-old mentor.