The retired defender gives the Soweto giants a word of support after losing the league crown
Former Kaizer Chiefs defender Rudolph Seale has shared his thoughts on why the late inclusion of experienced goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune has somehow dented the club’s Premier Soccer League (PSL) title chances.
While he said it was difficult to comfort the players after failing to lift the PSL trophy, he says they should not be discouraged.
Moreover, Seale is against the view the departure of George Maluleka to join new league champions, Mamelodi Sundowns, left a void in the midfield.
“I’m not pointing fingers here but I thought playing Khune when we smelled the title could have made things better,” Seale told Goal.
“I’m not saying [Daniel] Akpeyi was a bad keeper or blaming him. But to change him when he is injured did have a dent on our challenge.
“Look, there are some players that can give you good performances but sometimes fail to manage the game, organize things, and have that winning mentality especially when it comes to trying times like the final games of the season.
“We all know Khune is a good motivator, managing the game and has experience in big games and coming to the challenges of the title race, the character is what counts at such stages.”
Coming to the title that was decided on the last day of the season, the former full-back says he expected one team would suffer heartbreak.
“I think we expected the title to end up in tears for either club. It was obvious one would lose it in the last game,” added Seale.
“It’s very difficult to motivate and inspire the players. It’s been a very taxing and tough season not only for Chiefs but for everybody in the PSL. So, the fact that Chiefs managed to do well and challenge for the title up to the last game is something big for them.
“It happens in football that you lose the title. I think they can still come back and do well next season, I have faith they can continue where they left off.
“Losing the league title has always been happening in football and it’s not something new with Chiefs. I just hope the players will not feel bad about it. They must be professional and look at it in a positive manner.”
Speaking about the former Ajax Cape Town midfielder who recently joined the Tshwane giants, the legend believes coach Ernst Middendorp had quality to use in the heart of the park.
“On George, there are players there. The talk that George has left a void in the midfield and that sort of thing, it doesn’t work because Chiefs have top players in the midfield,” continued Seale.
“For those that didn’t enjoy regular game time, it was an opportunity for them to play just when they heard that George is leaving. This is not a one-man team but there’s talented and quality players at Chiefs.
“You can’t have passengers in a big club like this one, all the players have to play. Khune was out, he [Middendorp] played Akpeyi and unfortunately, Akpeyi cannot match Khune’s qualities when it comes to leadership.
“But there is plenty of players. They gave their best, to finish there is an achievement after finishing ninth last season.”
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