The ex-Amakhosi star has added his voice to the tough patch Amakhosi are currently going through
Former Kaizer Chiefs forward Katlego Mphela says it is not all about coach Stuart Baxter, but that senior players at the Soweto giants should rise during the “mess” the team has found itself in.
Chiefs are enduring a difficult season which has seen them fail to win their last four Premier Soccer League games in which they have recorded two defeats and as many draws.
That has left Amakhosi 12th on the log standings, four points better than bottom-placed TS Galaxy.
With the Soweto giants boasting experienced players like goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune, Daniel Cardoso, Erick Mathoho, Sifiso Hlanti, Khama Billiat, Keagan Dolly and Lebogang Manyama, Mphela feels it is their responsibility to “step up”.
“I think the players need to take responsibility. Senior players need to step up. At the end of the day it is them who are on the field of play,” Mphela told Goal.
“We can criticise the coach as much as we want but at the end of the day, it is the players on the pitch. Chiefs have quality players, the likes of Dolly, they still have Billiat, [Samir] Nurkovic, Manyama, so they need to take responsibility to get out of this mess the team is in.
“At the end of the day, it will not only be about the coach. They need to step up because the next win they might get is in December. They do not have time, Chiefs fans do not have patience.”
After last Saturday’s 1-1 draw away at AmaZulu, Chiefs will have 14 days before meeting Chippa United in their next league game.
It is a period Baxter would need to use to correct their shortcomings before resuming competitive action.
Meanwhile, Mphela predicts that Mamelodi Sundowns forward Peter Shalulile would lead the scorers’ chart this season.
The Namibian scored 15 league goals last season in his maiden Sundowns season after managing 16 in the previous term when at Highlands Park.
Shalulile has already scored five league goals this season, the same as Royal AM’s Victor Letsoalo.
“To be honest I will stick with Shalulile because the service he is going to get this season, the players around him, the way they play, he will get a lot of chances,” said Mphela.
“Other teams are not consistent enough so I will stick with Shalulile. But I would also like to see the likes of Kermit [Erasmus] stepping up. Kermit has been in this game for a long time. The potential has been there but he has not reached that level we had hoped for.
“I also would like to see [Ruzaigh] Gamildien from Swallows. I think he is someone who is free and likes to score goals. If he can get the service that he needs this season, he can compete against Shalulile.
“There is also [Thamsanqa] Gabuza. He is a hard worker, he is not known for consistency in scoring goals but if he can push these guys, it will also be good for him.”