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Kaizer Chiefs star Itumeleng Khune views every Orlando Pirates clash as important

Posted: 28 July 2017 Time: 18:52

The long list of Soweto derbies that Itumeleng Khune has featured in through his time at Kaizer Chiefs has done absolutely nothing to dilute his hunger for victory against Orlando Pirates.

For Khune it doesn’t matter whether it is a battle for points, a knockout competition tie or a mere pre-season contest like tomorrow’s Carling Black Label clash at the FNB Stadium.

“This game is important for us because every time we play Pirates there is pride at stake,” states Khune.

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That this is a match that will actually count for naught when reviews are done in May next year just doesn’t matter for the 30-year-old.

“Our fans want a win. It is very important for us as a team and players to deliver on the day because that is what our fans expect and that is what we also want as a team. We want to see how far we are with preparations ahead of the new season,” he reasons.

As is always the case Khune has led with the votes leaving a yawning gap between him and the other players in this match that is influenced by fans and has a fan sitting on the bench for the day as ‘head coach’.

“The coach has been reminding us that whoever has been voted by the fans must make sure he performs because he will see whether we take this game serious and whether we want to be in the starting XI during the course of the season. So this is a very important match for us in which we have to perform so that we make the starting XI during the course of the season. We have been training on a lot of finishing so it is very important we wrap the game in 90 minutes,” says Khune.

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He adds that they are aware of what they need to do to bring back smiles for the Chiefs family and feels Steve Komphela is not an isolated figure in the dressing room.

“The only way to change things around is to perform to the best of our abilities because the coaches prepare us well as players but then us as players lose concentration in the last minute of the game. So we have to concentrate throughout 90 minutes. I think it is unfair of the coach to put the blame on himself. We are all in the same boat and so we should all shoulder the blame because we as players on the field are not delivering so it is about time we all step up and make our fans happy,” he concludes.

Article by: Lovemore Moyo
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