Kaizer Chiefs coach Ernst Middendorp believes now is not the time to criticise forward Khama Billiat, instead pleading with the club’s fanbase to keep supporting him because he is ‘one of the best’.
The Zimbabwean has enjoyed a torrid season despite the success of his team in the league.
While struggling with a number of injuries, Billiat has had to watch as Samir Nurkovic and Leonardo Castro became the side’s trusted options up front.
Billiat is now back fit, but is still struggling to find the form he showed at Mamelodi Sundowns before his move to Chiefs. He was left on the bench for Thursday night’s clash with Downs, 17-year-old Keletso Sifama starting ahead of the 30-year-old.
Billiat may have came on in the encounter but again struggled as he missed a glorious chance heading into the final moments, which would have rescued a point for his team.
‘I can tell you only that as long as a player is willing and as long as a player has an ambition to everything that is possible to his abilities currently, they get all the support from my side,’ Middendorp told the media.
‘Unfortunately, he’s doing it the way we know he can. At the moment, I think I said already two weeks ago, that I have to support him and I am really asking each and everybody to please keep supporting him,’ said the German mentor.
The 61-year-old tactician believes Billiat is still one of the best players in the current squad and added that every Chiefs player needs all the support from the fans ahead of Sunday’s league encounter with Bidvest Wits.
‘It makes no sense at the moment to criticise negatively a player just because he’s not fulfilling the expectation as he usually does. He’s one of the best, I know,’ said Middendorp.
‘And we know that the whole club is a little bit different at the moment. We cannot discuss it. At the moment, the focus on the Sunday game [against Bidvest Wits] and the other thing is to ask for support.’
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