When a new coach arrives at any club, every player who previously never got the chance to showcase themselves, feels the need to work extra harder in order to win over his new mentor.
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That is the case with Kaizer Chiefs midfield maestro Siphelele Ntshangase, who seems to have found a new lease of life and rekindled his form under the tutelage of Gavin Hunt.
The former Bidvest Wits coach was roped into the Amakhosi hotseat at the end of last season following the dismissal of Ernst Middendorp, who fell short of the PSL title on the last day of the 2019/20 season.
Under Middendorp, “Stash”, as Ntshangase is known in local football circles, hardly got playing minutes under his belt, featuring just twice across all competitions.
The upcoming DStv Premiership campaign, which gets underway on Saturday, October 24, might just be the one for the 28-year-old to justify his price tag as well as prove why he once donned the Bafana Bafana colours while still plying his trade in the lower divisions.
For the Amakhosi coach, his arrival will be faced with a daunting task of having to work miracles for players who are very low on confidence, as well as get the best out of his top marksmen.
Speaking to SAfm’s Thabiso Mosia this week, Hunt was full of praise for Ntshangase, though he simultaneously added that there is more work to be done by the former Black Leopards and Baroka FC man.
“When I was at Wits I tried to sign Ntshangase from Leopards. I don’t know what’s gone wrong with him, but we’ve played 4 games and he scored 3 times,” Hunt was quoted as saying.
“But I was honest with him, he needs to work harder. I think he’s more of a second striker.”
Hunt also made reference to the combination between David Villa and Lionel Messi at Barcelona seasons ago when the latter netted close to a 100 goals.
“That is the same role that Leo Messi played with David Villa in front from him. You will remember what happened when Messi went on to score 92 goals in a calendar year,” Hunt added.
From this observation, it seems as though Hunt has noticed Ntshangase’s inability to track back because of his lack of pace, and will thus pull him further up the pitch for that final pass in transition.
This further emphasizes that the coach is trying to get “Stash” to add to the team’s tally of goals and assists in his game for the 2020/21 term – just like he had a great combination play with Khama Billiat who scored quite a few goals under Italian coach Giovanni Solinas.
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