Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi has conceded that teammate Itumeleng Khune is an integral part of the team as he frowned at reports of his two-month lay-off.
Khune has reportedly been ruled out for a period of eight weeks after picking up a groin injury in their recent 1-0 win over Baroka, shortly after returning from a nine-month lay-off.
The 32-year-old’s return saw him keep a clean sheet in Chiefs’ 2-0 win over AmaZulu a fortnight ago, but this was short lived as he pulled out less than half hour into the fixture against Bakgaga, prompting Akpeyi to step back in.
The Nigerian international, who has not quite seen eye to eye with the club’s supporters since his arrival in January, immediately stuck it to his detractors with a penalty save and back-to-back clean sheets in the last two encounters.
But the burly shotstopper, nonetheless, insists Khune is no rival of his and wishes the Bafana Bafana international a speedy recovery as they gear up for the resumption of the Absa Premiership, in which they currently occupy top spot on the log.
“I’m not competing with anyone; I’m only competing with myself to be the best that I can be and to make sure that whenever I’m given an opportunity then I try to do my best and solidify my own ground,” said Akpeyi.
“Concerning Itu [Khune], I don’t know about him going out for two months or so, but I think we need him back as urgently as possible because we need the backline to be solidified.
“It doesn’t need to be on one person, so in case anything happens we can have him because we need his experience and we need his character behind as well.”