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Chiefs defender Ramahlwe Mphahlele on Samir Nurković: ‘We are not expecting miracles from him’

Ramahlwe Mphahlele is expected to captain Kaizer Chiefs in the absence of Itumeleng Khune and other leaders.
Ramahlwe Mphahlele is expected to captain Kaizer Chiefs in the absence of Itumeleng Khune and other leaders.
Image: Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

Kaizer Chiefs defender Ramahlwe Mphahlele says they are not expecting miracles from returning striker Samir Nurković.

Nurković is expected to make his first appearance of the season for Amakhosi during their Caf Champions League‚ second leg clash against Primeiro de Agosto at the Estádio 11 de Novembro in Luanda on Tuesday.

“We know what Samir is capable of but we are not going to put pressure on him to say you are back now and you have to score goals for us‚” said Mphahlele from their base in Angola.

“He can come in and create for other guys to score like Khama Billiat‚ Leonardo Castro‚ Lazalous Kambole and Dumsani Zuma who are capable of scoring goals.

"Tower (Mathoho) also is capable of scoring goals‚ so we are not going to put too much burden on him.

“We want to give him space because he has been out for too long and we are not expecting miracles from him.

"He has been doing well at training and I just hope he continues in that vein during the games.

"But like I said‚ we all know what he can do‚ if he gets a chance he will bury it and everybody is happy to have him back because he is important for the team.”

Looking ahead of the clash‚ which kicks-off at 5pm (SA time)‚ Mphahlele said they are ready to overturn the 0-0 score line from the first leg at FNB Stadium in Johannesburg last month.

Amakhosi need an outright win or a draw with goals to progress to the group stages.

“We know this is a very important game for us and we started preparing for it last year already.

"The team is looking good‚ the boys came from the short festive break back looking sharp.

"So‚ we are ready for a fight because we know it’s going to be very difficult away from home.

“We had a good game against them at home and I think we should have won that game easily but it is what it is and we are tied at 0-0.

"The second leg is a complete new ball game because they are playing at home and they are going to come at us.

"But I believe that we have a big chance of going to the group stages which is what we came here for.”

Mphahlele‚ who is expected to captain the side‚ said all the players are aware of what is at stake.

“Everybody is aware of how big the game is on Tuesday and everybody is aware that we need to start the new year with a win and carry on from there.

"We are on the same boat and we know that it’s very important to put the team in the group stages so that we can compete with the best in Africa.

“So‚ everybody is on board and they are looking forward to it.

"This is an opportunity that we spoke about last season to say‚ yes we didn’t win the league but the team is in the Champions League.

"This is something that we want to explore and the coach also is willing and prepared to go the extra mile.”