The Warriors attacker hasn’t been in top shape this season but the Amakhosi boss doesn’t think it’s fair to throw stones at him
Kaizer Chiefs coach Ernst Middendorp doesn’t think this is the right time to criticise Khama Billiat despite some below-par performances this season.
The Zimbabwe international has come under fire with the majority of Amakhosi who feels he doesn’t even deserve to feature for the club.
However, Middendorp said he will continue to field the player because of his willingness to play for the badge, adding that Billiat will continue getting his full support.
“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.
While Middendorp admitted the 30-year-old attacker hasn’t been at his best this season, he says the only to keep the spirit in the team going is to rally behind every player, including Billiat.
“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 before adding that every Chiefs player needs all the support from the fans ahead of Sunday’s league encounter against 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,” added 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.”
Billiat missed the start of the season with a long-term injury but he came back and forced his way into Middendorp’s starting line-up towards the end of last year.
However, things have not gone in his favour as he’s only found the back of the net once in 14 league appearances for Chiefs this season with the club heavily relying on the likes of Samir Nurkovic, Leonardo Castro and Lebogang Manyama for goals thus far.
The absence of both Nurkovic and Castro was felt in Thursday’s 1-0 loss to Mamelodi Sundowns as Billiat started on the bench and even after coming on as a second-half substitute, the talented attacker had a little impact upfront.