Molangoane 'never had off-field issues at Kaizer Chiefs'
There were no off-field issues keeping Joseph Molangoane out of Kaizer Chiefs’ lineup early in the season‚ the player has said ahead of Amakhosi’s Telkom Knockout semifinal against Bidvest Wits on Saturday.
After 21 appearances signing for Chiefs from Chippa United halfway through last season‚ Molangoane’s absence for the first three months of this campaign were shrouded in mystery‚ resulting in speculation from that he had run-ins with coaching staff or management.
Chiefs coach Steve Komphela’s explanation a month ago that Molangoane was sick‚ then could not get his place back‚ only partly satisfied such a prolonged absence.
Molangoane‚ though‚ maintains he had not off-field issues.
“I’ve been in football for quite some years and it happens that you’re not going to be selected for certain games through the coaches’ plans‚ and what the coaches want‚” Chiefs’ right-sided player said this week.
“I was ready‚ waiting for the opportunity. And when it came I took it.
“To be honest I had nothing off the pitch or anything with the officials. It was just the decision that the coach took.
“And I respected it‚ and I had to work twice as much to get my spot back.”
It was a string of injuries that resulted in Komphela switching to a 3-5-2 formation and saw Molangoane return converted from a forward to a right wing-back‚ and the skilful little player has not looked back with a string of man-of-the-match performances.
“The position that I’m playing now is where I used to play at the Jazzy Queen academy [in Alexandra]. So it’s not something new. It’s something I played for years‚” Molangoane said.
“We had injuries and then the coach called me into the office and asked me‚ ‘Would you play as a right wing-back?’
“I said‚ ‘Yes. I don’t have a problem. Just give me instructions on what I have to do on the day of the game‚ because the games are not the same’.
Neither Chiefs or league champions Wits have had a convincing start to 2017-18‚ and both would see a semifinal victory at Bidvest Stadium as a platform to kickstart a more successful second half of the season.
“We respect Wits a lot‚ and it’s not going to be an easy game. They are the champions at the end of the day‚ and will come to show it‚” Molangoane said.
“Surely they want to win this trophy as much as we do. So we just have to work hard and see what happens on the day.”
Telkom Knockout semifinals -
Bidvest Wits v Kaizer Chiefs (Bidvest Stadium‚ 3.30pm)
Polokwane City v Bloemfontein Celtic (Old Peter Mokaba Stadium‚ 3.30pm)
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