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'I don’t want to put too much in' - Kaizer Chiefs' Middendorp tries to explain Khune's absence

12:32 SAST 2020/08/13
Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune
The experienced tactician is now focusing on their upcoming clash with Rise and Shine, who beat them 1-0 in the first round league game

Kaizer Chiefs head coach Ernst Middendorp has explained why Itumeleng Khune was absent from the team's match-day squad against Bidvest Wits on Wednesday night.

The club captain was a noticeable absence from the Soweto giants' team as they were held to a 1-1 draw by a stubborn Clever Boys side in a PSL match at Orlando Stadium in Soweto. 

Nigeria international Daniel Akpeyi started in goal as he remains the club's first-choice goalkeeper, while Bruce Bvuma is being named on the bench as the reserve shot-stopper. 

Middendorp revealed that Khune’s absence from the squad was not due to injury since the experienced player had struggled with injuries this term.

The German tactician explained Khune missed a few training sessions in the last few weeks without revealing reasons why. 

“He missed some training sessions for different reasons in terms of having a challenge," Middendorp told the media after the encounter.

"I don’t want to put too much in, we are not discussing any injuries, during the entire time we haven’t spoken about any injury.

"It is simple and easy, there were a number of training days where he couldn’t make it," the former Bloemfontein Celtic and Maritzburg United head coach continued.

"And good, you decide and today it was Daniel Akpeyi and Bruce and let’s move forward to the next game."

Khune has fallen out of favour under Middendorp this season with Akpeyi having impressed as Chiefs' first-choice keeper.

Bafana Bafana international Khune has made only four appearances across all competitions including two league matches against AmaZulu FC and Baroka FC in which he kept two clean sheets.

It remains to be seen whether the 33-year-old shot-stopper will return to Amakhosi's matchday squad when they take on Polokwane City at Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria on Saturday.

The Soweto giants are sitting at the top of the league standings and they will be hoping to extend their gap over second-placed Mamelodi Sundowns, who have a game in hand.

Chiefs are currently four points above Sundowns with the latter set to take on Highlands Park at Dobsonville Stadium in Soweto on Friday.