Baxter – Why Ngcobo Hasn’t Played
Stuart Baxter has explained why Kaizer Chiefs defender Njabulo Ngcobo has not played for his new club so far.
Ngcobo had been part of Bafana’s team that won the Cosafa Cup but was initially not selected for the South Africa squad for the recent FIFA World Cup qualifiers.
However, he was later added to the squad and even made an appearance off the bench against Ghana, albeit in midfield.
Coach Hugo Broos was among those who have been questioning why Ngcobo – the reigning DStv Premiership Defender of the Season – has not featured at Chiefs yet.
Baxter now responded to those question marks, saying he still need to get to know the player and doesn’t want to throw him into the deep end.
“You’re talking about last season and I didn’t see him one minute last season,” Baxter told local media during press conference.
“The first minute I saw him was when he was at Naturena. Njabulo was obviously going have make himself known to me, me to him and have some work together, how quickly we can get him in.
“It’s been very difficult because we virtually had no pre-season, we had one practice game. So therefor he’s had very little chance to make a lasting impression.
“He’s done very well in training, as has Austin (Dube) and at the moment it’s been about trying to ease them both into the scheme of things.
“If you throw them in at the deep end, you may grate their chances of establishing themselves. I think the way to bring them in is to bring them in in a stable environment, where everybody knows their role and not just shooting from the hip.
“I’m sure that Njabulo will appreciate that when he gets his chance that he will go in, knowing what to do and to give a performance instead of being thrown into a backline that has not been familiar with, has not had any practice with, apart from a few training sessions.
“Both him and Austin understand that situation.”
(Story by @kappilinho.)
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