Soccer

Kaizer Chiefs are conceding because Ngcobo’s on the bench – Ngubane

The defender is yet to make his Amakhosi debut after he signed for them from cross-town rivals, Swallows FC

Njabulo Ngcobo’s agent King Ngubane has revealed a fear that lack of playtime at the Premier Soccer League side Kaizer Chiefs may cost the defender a place in the Bafana Bafana squad.

He has also discussed how a failure to use his player is contributing to Amakhosi conceding goals.

The star was initially called up for South Africa’s World Cup qualifiers against Zimbabwe and Ghana before he was dropped when the squad was trimmed to 23 players. But injury concerns on Mosa Lebusa, Sphephelo Sithole and Mothobi Mvala saw Ngcobo recalled to the national side.

Unhappy Ngcobo

Ngubane claims the defender’s lack of happiness should be understood and he also wondered why Amakhosi are conceding goals when they have him in the team.

“Every player wants to play, so automatically when he’s not playing he can’t be happy. He’s the defender of the season… he wants to play for Bafana, so if he doesn’t get a chance to play for Chiefs, it is going to be difficult to get Bafana call-ups going forward,” Ngubane told Sowetan Live.

“If you know football, you understand why Njabulo can’t be happy. Even I am not happy because Bafana coach [Hugo Broos] trusted him against Ghana [where he was introduced in the 77th minute to play as a midfielder in the World Cup qualifier Bafana won 1-0 last week], meaning he knows he’s talented.
 
“You can’t change how coaches do their things, but we are hopeful the boy will crack it soon, especially that the team has been conceding goals. The coach already has pressure because people are asking ‘how you can keep on conceding when you have the defender of the season on the bench?'”

Njabulo Ngcobo, Bafana Bafana, August 2021

Head coach Stuart Baxter has always preferred a defensive partnership of Erick Mathoho and Daniel Cardoso as Ngcobo – who was signed from Swallows FC before the season began – and is always a member of the bench.

Former Bafana Bafana international Andrew Rabutla recently claimed Ngcobo would have done better against Mamelodi Sundowns last Sunday had he featured.

“I watched Chiefs’ match against [Mamelodi] Sundowns at the weekend and there were a few incidents where Mathoho was caught in one-on-one situations with attackers threatening them in the box,” said Rabutla.

“I am not saying Mathoho is the one who must be sacrificed for Ngcobo but what I am saying is that if it was Ngcobo, he was possibly going to handle those situations better.”

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