'There is no goalkeeper crisis at Kaizer Chiefs‚' insists Amakhosi coach Ernst Middendorp
There is no goalkeeper crisis at Kaizer Chiefs‚ Amakhosi coach Ernst Middendorp has said.
Far from it‚ the coach said‚ after he raised eyebrows bringing Bruce Bvuma into goal for Amakhosi's 1-0 Absa Premiership win against Maritzburg United at FNB Stadium on Saturday evening‚ dropping Daniel Alpeyi to the bench.
Middendorp explained the decision was based purely on Bvuma needing game time ahead of a match that is Chiefs' most likely source of preventing a fourth-straight season without a trophy - their Nedbank Cup quarterfinal against Cape Town City at Mbombela Stadium on March 31.
Akpeyi - signed by Chiefs in late January after Virgil Vries had struggled with costly errors filling in for the injured Itumeleng Khune - is cup tied for the Nedbank‚ and 23-year-old keeping prospect Bvuma will have to play against City.
"We have a very important game on March 31. And we are doing everything [to prepare]‚" Middendorp said.
"I have traveled to Cape Town watch to Cape Town City‚ I watched them in Pretoria [in their 3-2 loss against Mamelodi Sundowns].
"And if there is any chance I will go [and watch them] again. We have to be prepared for this game.
"Daniel cannot play [against City]. Daniel is cup tied. So now‚ of course‚ you have to manage it.
"You cannot in the last week say‚ 'Oh‚ give him [Bvuma] a training session‚ or give him a second training session'.
"That is not how it works in football.
"This change has nothing to do [with Akpeyi's form]. I was very happy with Daniel in the last game [a 3-2 win against Highlands Park]. I am very happy with his performance. He's a [Nigeria] national team goalkeeper. He will be in the Africa Cup of Nations.
"So we have no crisis. It was just to give this guy [Bvuma] a crucial game.
"There were small incidents. But otherwise‚ a fantastic performance for Bruce and I'm very happy for him with what he showed."
Bvuma played in Chiefs' Nedbank last-16 clash against third division The Magic in Port Elizabeth‚ where Amakhosi won 3-0 in extra time.
The young goalkeeper was so promising against Maritzburg that he may retain his place for Chiefs' league match against SuperSport United at Lucas Moripe Stadium on Friday night‚ Amakhosi's last fixture before their quarterfinal against City.