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Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper Akpeyi’s World Cup experience coming to the fore - Middendorp

17:19 SAST 2019/11/05
Ernst Middendorp, Kaizer Chiefs, December 2018
The Amakhosi mentor sings his net minder’s praises following their victory over the Buccaneers

Kaizer Chiefs coach Ernst Middendorp believes goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi’s experience is coming to the fore, saying the gap left by Itumeleng Khune is slowly getting filled.

The Nigerian international has been one of the consistent performers for the Naturena-based club of late, helping Amakhosi to reach the Telkom Knockout Cup semi-finals with a win over Orlando Pirates.

Although Middendorp admits they miss the Bafana number one, but having an experienced keeper who has played at the Fifa World Cup has brought relief.

"He's very grown-up, he always performed and I think sometimes you have people who say the wall is grey and some other people for some odd reason they say no the wall is green," Middendorp said to the media as quoted by Isolezwe.

"I understand, he just came in to help the club with Itumeleng Khune injured, he had to improve and be better, and I think there's a certain institution who worked on these issues.

“Like I said, he's grown up and well experienced and has played in the World Cup. Despite outside criticism, he's been performing and he's a very special player.”

Moreover, the German manager has heaped praise on goalkeeper coach Lee Baxter, whom he says deserves the credit in helping the Super Eagles international.

“Let's not forget the work done by the goalkeeping coach Lee Baxter, it's a result of having a well-qualified goalkeeping coach,” continued the coach.

“Khune’s injury has left us with problems but it seems the gap is getting filled by Akpeyi.”

Meanwhile, the 61-year-old manager is now looking to secure their eighth Premier Soccer League (PSL) win as they travel to Chippa United on Wednesday night.

On the other hand, Akpeyi will also hope to keep a clean sheet against his former team in a match that will be staged at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.