Absa Premiership

Akpeyi: Fans shouldn't put individuals ahead of the team

Daniel Akpeyi (Gallo Images)
Daniel Akpeyi (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Soweto derby man of the match Daniel Akpeyi has urged Kaizer Chiefs fans to back the team as a whole and not the individual players.

Chiefs coach Ernst Middendorp's tendency to pick goalkeeper Akpeyi ahead of fan favourite Itumeleng Khune has recently caused a backlash from a section of Amakhosi supporters.

However, Akpeyi put in a match-winning performance between the sticks on Saturday to help Chiefs win 1-0 against arch-rivals Orlando Pirates, validating Middendorp's decision to select him.

The Nigerian goalkeeper has responded to the selection drama and implored Chiefs fans not to pit players against each other but to rather back the entire squad.

"First of all, I want to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who has made this day possible for me. Second of all, I want to share this award with my coaches, because since day one they are the ones that actually believes in me following what happened two weeks ago," Akpeyi told SuperSport TV after the game.

"When these people (fans around the stadium) turned against me but they (team-mates) stood by my side and believed in me and we as a team we have it at the back of our minds that we're the only ones on the field, it's only when it's good you get the support but when it's not good you get turned down.

"And that is why I had to play with that mindset coming here today to be here at this point, I'm only fortunate to be at the right place, at the right time for this game and I hope it continues going well like that."

He continued: "We actually stalled the game, we planned for Pirates very well and decided that we're not going to go wide, we're not going to extend ourselves wide. We just going to make sure that we stay compact and when we win the ball we have to counter because we know where the mistakes are going to come from them and that played out for us today.

"Yes it, I want to say this again, every supporter should support the entire team, not the individual because that's the problem I think we have and I told everyone that's supporting me stop tugging me against my reserve goalkeeper or Khune rather because as far as I'm concerned he's a legend and he's still number one.

"I'm just fortunate to play as always, so let's support the entire team and not the individual."

- TEAMtalk media

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