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Rowen Fernandez: Why Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune will get back to his best

7:22 PM IST 15/08/18
Itumeleng Khune, Kaizer Chiefs, August 2018
The former Orlando Pirates goalkeeper coach has indicated that he has some idea of what Khune is going through

Former Kaizer Chiefs and Bafana Bafana goalkeeper Rowen Fernandez says he has some idea of what Itumeleng Khune is currently going through.

Khune missed Amakhosi's 3-0 win over Free State Stars in the 2018 MTN8 Cup quarter-final match at the FNB Stadium over the weekend due to personal reasons.

Reports have since indicated that the Amakhosi captain was granted permission to be with his girlfriend Sbahle Mpisane, who was reportedly involved in a car accident.

The South Africa international made his return to action as Chiefs drew 1-1 draw with Baroka FC in a PSL match at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on Tuesday.

Fernandez, who was involved in a fatal car crash himself during his playing career, has voiced his support for Khune.

"I was involved in a car accident in 2001 where unfortunately I knocked over a cyclist and he passed away, and then in the same week I was bitten by a spider and was in ICU for a week," recalled Fernandez to Vodacom Soccer.

"It was a test of character, and luckily at the time, Bobby [Motaung] was around and Muhsin [Ertugral] was around - and Rainer [Dinkelacker]. I had good support from the team itself, which was good for me," he continued. 

Fernandez stated that Amakhosi should also show their support for Khune, who replaced Virgil Vries in goal against Baroka after the Namibia international picked up an injury against Stars.

"I think the team needs him with Virgil being out injured. Khune is the kind of person where if the team is down, he will be there for you," said Fernandez.

"It was nice of him to have been there. It would have been a very difficult game for him emotionally because of being so far away from the tragedy and not being there to support [Mpisane]," he added. 

"There were some glimpses of the Khune that we saw; the distribution was there, he made a couple of good saves, coming out for crosses and commanding his area," said the former Arminia Bielefeld goalkeeper.

"It was a very difficult game for him. I think he did well in the circumstances. It'll be a while before he gets back to his full mental capacity because of the situation, but he'll be back soon. He's been in the game for too long to not be back," he concluded.

Chiefs will lock horns with Maritzburg United in a league game at the Harry Gwala Stadium on Friday.