Former Kaizer Chiefs midfielder Siyabonga Nkosi believes coach Gavin Hunt should do whatever it takes to ensure that Nkosingiphile Ngcobo is able to influence matches to maximum effect.
Ngcobo was subdued during Saturday's Soweto derby against Orlando Pirates which Chiefs lost 2-1.
And the 21-year-old, who was deployed in a sort of left-wing role against Bucs (Keayen Baccus, Daniel Cardoso and Njabulo Blom played in central midfield), never came out for the second half after being substituted for Happy Mashiane.
Ngcobo has hardly missed a minute's action for Chiefs this term and has chipped in with three goals in 14 league games. Mashiane has himself been in excellent form over the past month. But while Nkosi didn’t have a problem with Mashiane starting on the bench, he questioned Hunt’s decision to withdraw Ngcobo.
"I think he [Hunt] is taking a different approach to the approach he has taken with Ngcobo. With Ngcobo, sometimes he pulls him off too early, when maybe he could have given him a bit more time,” the former Bafana Bafana playmaker said in his role as a SuperSport TV analyst.
“Because, obviously, he's a player with an impact on the team at the moment. So sometimes opponents will try and nullify him.
“I would feel [Hunt] can provide him with more solutions. Don't just play him in a certain position and then when it doesn't work then you pull him off.
“Just make certain adjustments to try and free him. Because he's your impact player, he's your best player at the moment.”
Elaborating on Mashiane, Nkosi says he understands why the winger has not been starting regularly:
“With Gavin I don’t think at this point he has certified him as a starter. I think there is more that he demands from him as a coach. Especially coming in to these type of games, and at the start of the game," he added.
“I think he's a good player, that he (Hunt) is trying gradually to get Mashiane into a level where he will be a certified full-on starter.
“He's a player with great impact and I think that Gavin right now is trying to introduce him.”