Hunt explains why there is more to come from Kaizer Chiefs defender Mathoho

Erick Mathoho of Kaizer Chiefs and Zakhele Lepasa of Orlando Pirates
Gavin Barker/BackpagePix
Injuries and suspensions have made it difficult for the 30-year-old former Bloemfontein Celtic defender to find much consistency in his game

Kaizer Chiefs coach Gavin Hunt is pleased to have Erick Mathoho back in the team but feels there is a lot more to still come from the big defender.

It's been a bit of a roller-coaster last couple of years for Mathoho, mainly due to injuries, which have affected his rhythm and consistency.

There was a period when he was battling for form as well, while he was also previously a Bafana Bafana regular in central defence, which is currently no longer the case.

And just when the former Bloemfontein Celtic centre-back was starting to find some rhythm this season, he got suspended after being sent off in a Soweto Derby loss to Orlando Pirates.

But he once more proved his value to Amakhosi last Sunday by popping up with the winning goal in Chiefs' 1-0 victory over PWD Bamenda in Limbe, Cameroon, in what was a Caf Champions League first leg preliminary fixture.

Amakhosi head coach Gavin Hunt was appreciative of the finish, although he thinks Mathoho still has some way to go to get back to full sharpness.

"He scored a great goal like a striker should finish," Hunt said. "But you can see he's rusty, in his general play, slow.

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"He needs a bit of games, to get up to speed. But I mean hopefully with a few know that suspension hit us badly, because he was out for a long time (injured), and then he came back and got suspended, got sent off. [But] he's got enough experience to help us."

While another goal would help, Hunt will mainly be hoping that Mathoho can assist his side in keeping a clean sheet when they meet PWD Bamenda in the second leg of their qualifier, on Friday evening at the FNB Stadium. Kick off is at 6pm. A 0-0 draw would be enough for the Soweto side to advance, and they have been struggling for goals this season.

Mathoho’s presence will be especially important if another defender, Ramahlwe Mphahlele, is unable to recover in time from the knock he picked up in Cameroon last weekend.