Bernard Parker backs under-fire Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper Virgil Vries ahead of the Soweto Derby

Vries has struggled in-between the sticks in the absence of Khune, but not everyone is giving up on the shot-stopper

With the Soweto Derby on the horizon, Kaizer Chiefs ' veteran Bernard Parker believes that it could be a game of redemption for under-fire goalkeeper Virgil Vries.

The Namibia international has been forced into the spotlight after the injury to the club’s No.1 Itumeleng Khune.

However, it has not been smooth sailing for Vries, who has been at the centre of much criticism after making several costly mistakes.

With the Derby now set to capture the imaginations of South African fans all over the country this weekend, head coach Ernst Middendorp has been left with a selection headache, whether or not to keep faith in Vries or look to new signing Daniel Akpeyi.

But Parker, who is likely to feature in yet another Derby is adamant that Vries needs the game time in order for him to bounce back.

“Virgil is blessed to have a family that supports him,” Parker was quoted as saying by The Citizen.

“He is an international, he can step up from here. We just need to send those positive signals to him, so he can be stronger. The good thing about football, there is always the next game for you to rectify things,” Parker added.

The addition of Akpeyi to the Glamour Boys goalkeeping department will almost certainly provide healthy competition for Vries and keep him on his toes.

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Not only was Akpeyi Chippa United’s No.1 but he was also part of the Nigeria national team squad that travelled to Russia last year for the 2018 Fifa World Cup, providing invaluable experience. 

 “Virgil is well aware of what is happening. It’s for any player to worry when the team is looking to beef up in your position. You ask the question if you are do the right thing, it’s having that acceptance that this is happening, that you need to improve and keep things together,” the 32-year-old concluded.