Kaizer Chiefs coach Giovanni Solinas pins hopes on Lebogang Manyama

Giovanni Solinas coach of Kaizer Chiefs and Lebogang Manyama of Kaizer Chiefs during the MTN8 Semi Final first Leg match between SuperSport United and Kaizer Chiefs on the 26 August 2018 at Lucas Moripe Stadium.
Giovanni Solinas coach of Kaizer Chiefs and Lebogang Manyama of Kaizer Chiefs during the MTN8 Semi Final first Leg match between SuperSport United and Kaizer Chiefs on the 26 August 2018 at Lucas Moripe Stadium.
Image: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

Lebogang Manyama has been put under a rigorous and strict fitness programme at Kaizer Chiefs and coach Giovanni Solinas expect him to be ready for competitive football in just over two weeks.

Manyama‚ who has not played competitive football at all this year and did not have a pre-season‚ joined Amakhosi recently and Solinas says the former South African Footballer of the year will help in varying their attacking options.

“He is a big player and we have put him on a special programme to improve fitness‚” said Solinas after they drew 2-2 with SuperSport United in the first leg of the MTN8 semi-final at Lucas Moripe Stadium on Sunday.

“I think he needs a minimum of two weeks to be on the right fitness level. When he is fit‚ he will help us to score the goals and win games. I am very happy about him coming to us but we have to wait for him to improve his fitness and I am sure that when he is fit we will have another option in the attack.”

Just like Khama Billiat‚ who joined Chiefs from bitter rivals Mamelodi Sundowns two months ago in a highly publicized move‚ Manyana is going to be scrutinised by the fans at Naturena but Solinas said his team-mates will help him to settle down.

“We will have to share the responsibility because there is no one player who can do the job alone. When he starts playing‚ I am sure that he will make the contribution. At the moment he is working on his fitness and we must remember that he did not have a pre-season and in modern football a player needs mobility. A player needs to run off the ball and move into open spaces and for that to happen you need fitness. If he is not fit‚ he can’t play according to our philosophy.”

The other players who are on the verge of joining the first team are Zimbabwean defender Teenage Hadebe‚ who has fully recovered from injury‚ and Madagascan midfielder Andriamirado “Dax” Andrianarimanana‚ whose work permit is expected to be sorted out soon.

“With regard to “Dax”‚ he can’t play official games because we are waiting for the papers. I believe that he will help us and I am very happy that he is our player. Hadebe is coming from injury but this week he will join the team for full training.”

Solinas is not expecting winger Joseph Molangoane to make a return until next year after he suffered a horrific injury against Free State Stars earlier in the month.

“That injury shocked me and when I visited him at the hospital I was emotional. We need at least five months and we wait for next year maybe January or February but he is positive and he is a strong boy.”

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