The 34-year-old man is missing for the season opener at Mbombela Stadium, although he was named captain a day earlier
Kaizer Chiefs coach Stuart Baxter explained why goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune was missing in their Premier League opening match against TS Galaxy on Sunday.
The Soweto giants opened their 2021-22 campaign with a 0-0 draw against Galaxy at Mbombela Stadium, and striker Khune was conspicuously missing.
What did Baxter say?
‘Itu, there’s nothing wrong with him, nothing he did against Mamelodi Sundowns [was wrong]”Baxter told the media after the game when asked about Khune’s absence.
“We just thought it would be a longer game on their part.
‘It would be a more mobile device, outside your penalty area, a target role, and we thought Bruce was the best one of us four.
Khune’s absence comes just two days after the 68-year-old British tactician confirmed he will be the captain of the Glamor Boys this season.
Although the 34-year-old warden was Chiefs captain in the 2020-21 campaign, he did not play regularly due to injury and loss of form, a decision that forced the bracelet to turn between Ramahlwe Mphahlele, Samir Nurkovic and Bernard Parker.
Khune was named overall captain
“We talked about this the other day, and the club captain is Itu,” Baxter said. said before the Galaxy game.
“Club captain, meant if he is captain, if he does not play, he is still club captain. It does not change that he is the voice of the group and that he is the go-to man, but that will not change. ”
Baxter continues: ‘Apart from that we wanted a captain for the team; we want all players to take responsibility. We want all players to have a voice; we want all players to be confident in helping their teammates.
‘Now we’m talking about a senior player or an excellent player or a player who has clearly shown leadership qualities.
“Now we can see against Mamelodi Sundowns, but we want to be a captain-full team with people who are there to take the pressure, to take responsibility, to have a voice and to dare to speak out.
“I think if you get a lot of players good enough, the bracelet can go to almost anyone.”
Khune will now hope to make the team when Chiefs face Baroka Swallows in the second top game of the season at FNB Stadium on Wednesday.