Cape Town - Dominic Isaacs believes Eric Mathoho's form has suffered this season since the departure of his experienced partner, Tefu Mashamaite.
Mathoho formed a formidable partnership with the left-footed centre-back prior to his move to Swedish outfit BK Hacken at the end of the campaign as Kaizer Chiefs went on to win the league title, and Isaacs believes the experience of Mashamaite was a calming influence on the South Africa international.
"It has been evident in the way his standards have dropped this season that he misses the guidance of his former partner in Tefu at the back," the former Amakhosi defender told Goal website.
"The boy was getting guidance from Tefu and people should not forget that he is still a youngster himself."
Isaacs feels the sudden expectation of being the leader in the back-four was a bit too much for Mathoho to cope with.
"There has been a lot of responsibilities on his shoulders since Tefu left and clearly that has affected his game," he added. "Expectations are now on him to marshal that Chiefs defence and be the leader among the back-four."