Absa Premiership

Komphela: New signings close to match-fitness

Leonardo Castro (Gallo Images)
Leonardo Castro (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Kaizer Chiefs coach Steve Komphela does not think it will be too much longer before new signings Leonardo Castro and Siphelele Ntshangase complete an entire match. 

Having made a handful of substitute appearances, the two January acquisitions made their first starts in Chiefs' 3-0 Nedbank Cup last 32 win over Golden Arrows at the FNB Stadium on Sunday.

However, Ntshangase was replaced by Hendrick Ekstein 20 minutes after the interval, with Castro making way for Bernard Parker six minutes later.

It's the most minutes either of them has played so far and, although Komphela has pleaded patience, he may soon be thinking about giving the pair a full game to show their talents.

"I think to be honest, they gave a good account of themselves. We could see the amount of work Castro did and we saw a number of attempts Ntshangase was trying," he said after the Arrows game," he said.

"Castro spent a lot of time not playing in his previous club [Mamelodi Sundowns]. He is starting to get there. Match fitness is something very difficult but you have to build players towards that.

"The same with Ntshangase - he was not playing [at Baroka] and we knew when we started them the possibility of them finishing the match were very slim.

For the next couple of games though, Ntshangase and Castro could still find themselves used off the bench as Komphela looks to best manage their workloads.

"When you bring them on as subs, you obviously say okay the opponents might have depleted their energy when they come in, they will cope and show their quality and finish the match.

"Those are processes you as a coach have to manage and based on your training experiences and feedback from a player, because we do engage. We ask how many minutes you think you can give us, and say I can give you 45 or 50, and you trust the player.

"But I hope very soon they will play from zero minute to 95 without hiccups. But that will not happen instantly, it's not possible."

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