ZUMA’S FAC­ING THE MU­SIC

Du­misani Zuma, that is, and he’s part of the ‘is­sues’ at Chiefs

Sunday Tribune - - NEWS&VIEWS - MAZOLA MOLEFE

EAR­LIER this past week the spot­light was once again turned on Kaizer Chiefs’ new re­cruits after the club an­nounced there would again be changes to the play­ing per­son­nel at the end of the sea­son – this de­spite 23 play­ers be­ing axed in the last two years.

One of these fresh faces, striker Du­misani Zuma, also faced the mu­sic for the first time since join­ing Amakhosi from Bloem­fontein Celtic – his con­tri­bu­tion be­ing scru­ti­nised.

The 3-0 hu­mil­i­at­ing de­feat against Chippa United last week­end at the FNB Sta­dium un­masked some of the deeper ly­ing prob­lems at a club that had won the Absa Pre­mier­ship ti­tle twice in three years be­fore coach Steve Kom­phela took over in 2015. Zuma, for his sins, was merely a small part of the big­ger is­sues man­age­ment will have to ad­dress at the end of a cam­paign that could still see Amakhosi empty-handed for a third sea­son in a row.

“I think the sit­u­a­tion we find our­selves in is very tough, but we must sol­dier on as play­ers and make sure we win the re­main­ing (four) games,” Zuma said ahead of Chiefs host­ing rel­e­ga­tion-bound Plat­inum Stars this af­ter­noon. “It has been a tough sea­son for us and ev­ery time I step onto the field I try to give my best. With the chances I got, I think maybe if I con­verted a few of them, the story could be dif­fer­ent. I think I would have bet­ter stats this sea­son.”

The for­ward was per­haps be­ing a bit diplo­matic. In truth, Zuma hasn’t re­ally had a fair shake since ar­riv­ing from Celtic. The 22-yearold has only man­aged two starts in 18 matches, con­tribut­ing with two goals, but when pressed on whether he thought it was enough to make an im­pact, Zuma didn’t want to throw Kom­phela un­der the bus.

He will be con­cerned that chair­man Kaizer Mo­taung has made it clear that there will be a squad over­haul yet again, and pos­si­bly even a coach­ing change.

“It has been tough for us (new play­ers), try­ing to gel with the team and get the com­bi­na­tions,” he said. “To play for Chiefs brings a lot of pres­sure, even if you are new. But we are will­ing to fight. We try as hard as we can at train­ing to push for a place in the team. I can’t be wor­ried about the fu­ture be­cause I am still new at the club. I am try­ing to adapt. Maybe in time I will get my form back and score the goals. I can’t say whether the man­age­ment will sym­pa­thise. I don’t know.”

The fi­nal few weeks of the sea­son will be an op­por­tu­nity for Chiefs play­ers to play for con­tract ex­ten­sions and a sec­ond chance as a clear-out looms. “I am will­ing to push and get­more min­utes of play­ing,” said Zuma. “I am not sure why I haven’t played as much as I would have liked. Ob­vi­ously the coach se­lects the team. My job is to keep work­ing hard at train­ing. If there is any­thing I need to im­prove on it is to con­vert the chances that I get. I think my en­ergy when I come on also needs work, even if it’s late in the game. I need as many min­utes as pos­si­ble for my con­fi­dence.”

@su­per­journo

PIC­TURE: BACKPAGEPIX

STAY­ING POS­I­TIVE: Du­misani Zuma of Kaizer Chiefs dur­ing Amakhosi’s PSL match against Chippa United at FNB Sta­dium.

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