Khune started off the campaign on a worrisome note, conceding eight goals in his opening six matches, during which the team also failed to find a victory.
Off the field he also faced challenges as his partner was hospitalised after a serious car crash in Durban, while he was left to support her from a distance.
However, since joining the national team camp ahead of their 2019 AFCON qualifier against Libya, ‘Itu’ has returned to his former self and conceded just one goal in his last four appearances – which includes a clean sheet in Bafana’s goalless draw.
The reigning Absa Premiership Goalkeeper of the Season has since attributed his resurgence to the amount of effort he had to put in to warrant his place in Stuart Baxter’s side, which has in turn paid off at club level too.
“It was a great morale booster because, before going into that camp, I know a lot of people complained that I shouldn’t be in Bafana, but I’ve proven time and again that whenever given the opportunity I will give my all, be it for Chiefs or Bafana,” said Khune.
“And going into that camp, I knew I had to work harder to make people believe in me again. Because, yes, the club wasn’t performing and doing what we are expected to do, and it affected some individuals.
“But, we win as a team and we lose as a team, so for me it was just a matter of going out there and doing what I always do, which is to keep clean sheets and perform very well when given the opportunity.”
Khune also admitted that a lack of concentration and communication at the back was central to their struggles at the start of the season, with coach Giovanni Solinas having to test multiple combinations in central defence.
“I think it’s concentration because at some stage, hence the coach has already played all the central defenders, there was that lack of concentration and communication,” he added.
“But we realised where we got it all wrong and why we didn’t start well, so we started fixing it at training and now it’s starting to show in matches.
“It is important that we don’t drag each other down when someone makes a mistake, but we have to cover up for him because we’re not doing it for ourselves but for the team.”
Amakhosi have since won their last three consecutive league outings, moving to third position on the latest standings.