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No.10 role earmarked for ‘Shabba’ against Chippa as Chiefs coach Komphela searches for inspiration

By Mark Gleeson | 2016-12-02 10:49:48.0

Siphiwe Tshabalala celebrates during the 2016 Telkom Knockout, Last 16 match between Kaizer Chiefs and Maritzburg United at FNB Stadium on October 22, 2016 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images)

A role for Siphiwe Tshabalala in the number 10 position for Kaizer Chiefs – sitting behind the strikers in a midfield playmaking role – now looks more fixed‚ says coach Steve Komphela as he continues the search for a player to inspire his club.

“He is ticking all the boxes as a No. 10‚” the coach said of Shabba as he looked ahead to Saturday’s Absa Premiership encounter against Chippa United at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth.

Chiefs are looking to snap a win-less run of seven matches when they meet Chippa at 6pm on Saturday.

Tshabalala used to be key for Chiefs out wide on the flanks but has taken over in the middle from Pule Eksteen‚ who had been entrusted with the role earlier in the season but failed to make the necessary impression.

“Shabba is playing at 10 because of how it currently is. Pule had an opportunity to play there‚ we can still play Bernard Parker there; Keegan Buchanan could also play a role there but where we are sitting currently‚ Shabba has been doing a good job.”

Komphela praised the work ethic of the 32-year-old former Bafana Bafana star after Tuesday’s 1-1 draw with Cape Town City‚ especially the role he played dropping back to help in a defensive midfield role alongside George Maluleka after Willard Katsande had gone to centreback when Chiefs went down to 10 men following the sending off of Sibusiso Khumalo.

“It was a real indication in terms of commitment and he is a top professional‚” the coach said.

“In the instances when we came out [of defence] be took the ball to them and you could see he was hurting the opponent. He also created chances in the box. He gives good work ethic‚ quality and he does influence the game.”


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