Ernst Middendorp expresses displeasure at Khama Billiat decision


Kaizer Chiefs coach Ernst Middendorp is not in the least bit impressed with star forward Khama Billiat following his recent actions.

Billiat has managed just two appearances since the start of the season, after being side-lined with a knee injury upon his return from the Africa Cup of Nations.

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He was initially left out of Zimbabwe’s squad to face Somalia in their preliminary round 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers but, after suffering a defeat at home in the first leg, Warriors coach Joey Antipas called on the Chiefs man to help spare them the embarrassment of early elimination.

Needless to say, Billiat jumped at the opportunity and ultimately proved the hero with his 90th-minute strike that ensure his nation progressed to the next round of World Cup qualifiers.

Regardless of the 29-year-old’s massive impact, Middendorp was displeased with the decision the player took to leave the club before going on to exert himself in the manner he did, despite the concerns surrounding his progressive recovery from injury.

“You should talk to the player. I actually have my own idea in this direction and, ja, the player made his decision and that’s it,” said Middendorp at the PSL offices on Thursday.

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“It’s not about being impressed [with his performance]. We were not able as the club to use the player for full 90 minutes at all until now.

“Now, running into [such a game] – I understand – serving his country and so on, that is why I’m saying ask the player, how is he capable three days later to do something responsible?

“I have my own idea about it, I have my own way when I’m talking about loading; what is the idea behind effective training loading and structure.

“One idea behind [this] is to keep and to get the players totally injury free, and secondly the idea is to try as much as possible to get the player to a certain competitiveness that they can contribute to a team performance. So, now the rest you can put [thought] into yourself.”

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