Ernst Middendorp won't give free minutes to Itumeleng Khune or others

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Chiefs are set to open their Nedbank Cup campaign against the GladAfrica Championship side at FNB Stadium on Saturday, after coming off a two week break.

Amakhosi were last in action against Golden Arrows in Durban last month and have been inactive in the Absa Premiership since, maintaining a nine-point lead at the top of the table.

Despite the weekend’s fixture being against a team languishing at the bottom of the lower division table, Middendorp has made it clear that he will not be giving out free minutes to some of the fringe players that have been struggling to break into the team of late.

“Itu Khune will be in the squad too, and please have the understanding that basically the core of the players we’ve been using in the league [will be selected],” said the German.

“We did not have a competitive game last weekend and that’s always a bit difficult; we always need one or two games to get into a certain direction.

“We will not setup just because everybody deserves [game-time], whether it is Itu, Rama [Mphahlele], [Anthony] Akumu, Khama [Billiat], whatever.

“Please, we have a respectable team and first selection, and sometimes players must wait for their opportunity, whenever it is right and that’s it.”

Khune has been out of action since September last year, after making a short return for two games before suffering another injury setback, and has had to watch his teammates from the bench in the last five matches.