Cape Town - Kaizer Chiefs destroyer Willard Katsande believes Zimbabwe team-mate Khama Billiat remains a top performer despite a poor season for Amakhosi as a club.
Chiefs ended in ninth and lost the Nedbank Cup final to TS Galaxy and virtually the entire Glamour Boys side, including Billiat, have come in for some stern criticism.
With that said, the forward did manage 17 goals in all competitions though he managed only five in the Premiership.
It was the 28 year old's first season in six that he failed to win a trophy in a domestic competition in South African football.
Katsande said: "I told him after the [Nedbank Cup] final that, 'You know boy, this is the end of 2018/19 season, we need you for AFCON because you are our top player.'
"'Whenever you click, it's easy for the nation to get the positive result.' And I always remind him how good and how important he is in this business of football.
"Sometimes, with these kids like Khama, they don't realise how important they are in the game, so we always remind him that, 'You are the important player. Whenever you touch the ball, whenever you are on top of your game, it makes it easy for the team to click.'
"Those are the kinds of players you need to keep reminding how good they are, and whenever they are down, you can only pick them up by showering them with positive comments.
"I also tell him, 'One bad game doesn't define you, that you are a bad player, missing one chance doesn't mean that you are going to struggle, you are still the top player because you've been on top of your game for the past six to eight years.
"'So, one season doesn't define you, you can still be the best. Whenever you are on top of you game, we look dangerous and it's easy for us to win.'
"Those are the kinds of words I've been sharing with him."