McCarthy: Keepers key in title challenge

Chiefs are currently enduring a major struggle in their goalkeeping department, which has cost them upwards of four points in three games since the injury blow to stalwart goalminder Itumeleng Khune, who has been ruled out for the rest of the season.

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The likes of Virgil Vries and new signing Daniel Akpeyi have been less than convincing between the sticks, with both having committed errors that have cost the team crucial points in the Absa Premiership title race.

With nine points separating Amakhosi and log leaders Bidvest Wits at present, McCarthy believes the possibility of a resurgence amongst the favourites is down to the men between the sticks.

“To be honest, it’s going to be difficult [to catch up in the title race] because they’re obviously struggling to win games outright, mainly due to the shaky goalkeeping department,” McCarthy tells KickOff.com.

“It is proving a bit of a problem trying to establish a regular first-choice goalkeeper in Itu’s absence at the moment, because Vries and Akpeyi are dropping points with their mistakes.

“One of Chiefs’ main strengths has always been in the goalkeeping department that kept them in the game, since the time of Brian Baloyi, Rowen Fernandez, Emile Baron and even Khune.

“The keeper actually plays a major part especially when the team is leading 1-0 and they need that clean sheet to walk away with the victory, and that’s obviously proving a challenge of late.

“Look, I’m not saying it’s impossible but it’s really going to depend on how they see out games when leading with a margin of one or two and make sure they close shop at the back to seal it.”

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