Shaba back for Chiefs

2010-11-04 11:41

Defending champions Kaizer Chiefs were given a major boost on Thursday when their star winger Siphiwe “Shaba” Tshabalala was declared fit for Saturday’s Telkom Knockout quarterfinal clash against Free State Stars at the Rand Stadium.

The flying left winger was injured while helping Bafana Bafana secure a hard fought 0-0 draw against Sierra Leone in Freetown last month. He injured his hip in that bruising African Nations Cup qualifier and has not played for the past four weeks.

A smiling head coach Vladimir Vermezovic confirmed on Thursday that Shaba was now available.

“Tshabalala is ready and in the squad and could play against Stars,” he said.

Vermezovic is wary of the threat posed by Stars and by his friend Steve Komphela, who has recently rejoined the Bethlehem-based PSL outfit as head coach.

“Steve is an interesting guy, and so are his team. They have improved since he has been in charge and are a strong side,” said the Serbian-born Vermezovic.

While cup competition was important to Chiefs, his priority was winning the league, he said. It was vital for Chiefs to successfully defend the Knockout.

“Every game is vital. I take it one step at a time. In other words, our next game (Stars) is our most important. We are the Knockout champions. We want to retain the cup, but I realise we have a difficult task ahead. But, we are ready.”

Chiefs’ skipper Jimmy Tau said the players’ confidence was boosted after the 10-man Chiefs beat defending Absa Premiership champions SuperSport United 2-0 in Atteridgeville over the weekend.

“That was a big win against United, but we cannot afford to disregard Stars,” Tau warned.

“They were not expected to get past Ajax Cape Town in the last round, but they caused a big upset beating Ajax in Cape Town. That tells us this will be no walk in the park.”

Tau said that while beating SuperSport was a big morale-booster for the players and kept Chiefs’ unbeaten record intact, there was a long way to go.

“We must keep our feet firmly on the ground. We need to stay focused and not allow ourselves to be lulled into a false sense of security. Stars have some decent quality players who we expect to rise to the occasion.”

Tau welcomed Tshabalala back.

“It’s great news having Shaba fit again. We missed him because be brings a lot of experience to the team.”

Although Chiefs oozed confidence on Thursday, they practiced taking penalty kicks after their training session at their Naturena base just in case Stars prove to be a tough nut to crack and take the game to a penalty shootout.

Vermezovic defended his striker Kaizer Motaung Jr., who was sent off in the 56th minute against SuperSport, and said there was no discipline problem with him or any of his players.

“This is our first red card of the season. There is no discipline problem here.

“I am not supporting him because he is the chairman’s son, but because tempers and heart rates rise in a game. I supported Itumeleng Khune when he had the same problem last season. It is nothing to worry about. It is part of the game.”

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/Africa
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.