Shabaa injury does not worry coach

2011-04-19 13:00

Fatigue can lead to injury, and while Kaizer Chiefs coach Vladimir Vermezovic might not be worried about this, it will be in the back of his mind as his team chase league and cup glory at the business end of their season.

Chiefs are preparing to play Vodacom League side Baroka FC in a Nedbank Cup quarter-final clash at Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane on Sunday, and one concern that emerged in Tuesday morning’s training was star winger Siphiwe “Shabaa” Tshabalala having to pull out of training with a suspected injury.

Two months ago, Vermezovic had emphasised the need to properly manage and rest key players, especially his overworked Bafana Bafana trio of Tshabalala, goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune and midfielder Reneilwe Letsholonyane as often as he can in an effort to ensure that they could be at their best in the final stretch of the season.

Regarding “Shabaa” though, Vermezovic was convinced that the 26-year-old would be in selection contention on the weekend, and that whatever ailment he might have picked up was minor.

“Yesterday I gave rest to the entire team that has been playing prominently in the last four games, so the guys have had their two days rest and are back training today,” said Vermezovic.

“But I’m not worried about Tshabalala, he will be ready for our next game. He had picked up a knock in our league game against SuperSport United last Wednesday.”

In preparing for their tricky fixture against the speedy minnows from Limpopo, Vermezovic admits that there is pressure on the Glamour side to move to the semi-final stage while also ending their poor run against outfits from the lower divisions in this competition.

The priority for Chiefs will be to claim nine points in their last three Premiership games against Mamelodi Sundowns, Ajax Cape Town and AmaZulu to make a late surge and usurp both Orlando Pirates and Ajax for the more prestigious championship crown.

Baroka saw off Moroka Swallows in the previous round of the Cup at the same Polokwane venue that is expected to be sold out on match day.

“There is always pressure at Chiefs, be it the league or the Cup,” Vermezovic said.

“Regarding Baroka, we will see what happens in the next couple of days. We will be prepared for the game, and will treat this Vodacom League side like a Premier Soccer League team.

“To me, this game prepares us for our next league matches against Sundowns and Ajax.”

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