Milutin Sredojevic: Zambia coach on Lazarous Kambole struggles, Samir Nurkovic success


Zambia head coach Milutin Sredojevic has commented on the struggles of Kaizer Chiefs striker Lazarous Kambole with an interesting comparison to compatriot Samir Nurkovic.

Kambole and Nurkovic were signed by Chiefs in the off-season after they finished in ninth place in the Absa Premiership with just 33 goals scored in 30 games.

READ: Chiefs, Bucs failure mystifies Carteron

The Zambian arrived with a fearsome reputation after finishing as top scorer of the 2017/18 CAF Champions League with Zesco United and shining at the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN).

However, he has failed to find the net in 11 games across all competitions, a stark contrast to Nurkovic, who has netted 10 league goals in 16 appearances after arriving as a relatively unknown figure from Komarno.

"Just one hour after I arrived in Ndola, where Kambole excelled before Chiefs, I noticed there is a difference in playing at Levy Mwanawasa and playing at FNB [Stadium]," Sredojevic tells

"Difference also from a point of demands that are expected of them, players here are also used more freely and given more opportunity to express themselves.

"It's true it's not easy to adjust but that does not mean he's a bad player, this is the same Kambole that destroyed Kaizer Chiefs in Confederation Cup, you get my point?"

READ: 8 Clubs who suffered transfer bans

Scroll through the gallery below to see Chiefs' preparations ahead of their clash against Maritzburg United

Sredojevic went on to use Uganda legend Godfrey Walusimbi as an example to a player of immense quality who was unable to find success at Amakhosi.

READ: McCarthy reveals SA return talks

"For example, one player who was playing in Chiefs, Walusimbi, in two matches he put Mo Salah in his pocket," he explains.

"He did not touch the ball, Mohamed Salah, one of three of the best players in Africa at present. This happened in national team matches, then he comes to Chiefs and they couldn't keep him for five months.

"People could not just jump to the conclusion that players coming to South Africa are not up to standard, it's not easy to come and immediately re-adjust and re-align and show the people your quality.

"Every player, no matter who you are, needs a period of acclimatisation and Kambole is no different, he's got a big heart and I give him total confidence that he'll pull up his socks to show why he's rated as one of the best players in Southern Africa.

"In life, it's very important that when you join a new club you need to click with culture and traditions and lifestyle, style of football, you need everything to click quickly and that you fit into the puzzle of the team."

READ: Carteron: Downs ahead of Chiefs, Bucs

'Micho' concluded that Nurkovic is the perfect reference point of a new signing who's able to hit the ground running after immersing himself within his new environment and thriving in a tactical setup that suits him under the management of Ernst Middendorp.

"This hasn't happened for him but this doesn't mean someone could have judgements that he's not up to standard. My countrymate, for example, Samir Nurkovic, nobody knows his life story the way I know.

"But he has come from the second division of Slovakia and succeeded to adjust to PSL and now he's one of the best players in the league.

"So football, it's a funny tricky and unpredictable game where you never know when a player could click with the situation when he arrives."