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Stuart Baxter explains Nkosingiphile Ngcobo’s absence for Kaizer Chiefs

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Kaizer Chiefs played to yet another frustrating result, when they drew 0-0 away to Cape Town City on Tuesday night. 

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One of the biggest absentees from last night’s team selection was fan favourite Nkosingiphile Ngcobo, having become a regular for Chiefs of late. 

Ngcobo has struggled for game time this season

Having had somewhat of a breakthrough season in the previous campaign, the current campaign did not start well for Ngcobo. After Chiefs were slapped with a transfer ban, the diminutive playmaker was one of the younger players to benefit from that ordeal. “Mshini” as he is affectionately known as, quickly became the go to guy for the club’s former coach Gavin Hunt.

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With Ngcobo playing such a prominent role, many thought that was finally a coming of age season for him, and that he would become a key player for Chiefs from there onwards. However, soon after the arrival of new coach Stuart Baxter, for his second stint at Amakhosi, it soon became clear that, he wouldn’t be afforded an opportunity to get his momentum back, and carry it on to the next season. 

Fortunes began to change for him

However, close to the end of the year, Ngcobo began to see more action under the tutelage of assistant coach Arthur Zwane, while Baxter was out self-isolating. His fine form, once again reminded the Chiefs faithful of what he is capable of. Since then, Baxter had also included him in his own starting line up. Now when he was nowhere to seen for the draw against Cape Town City, many a club fans were seen asking about the player’s absence on social media. Baxter has since explained why. 

Baxter explains his absence

“We change personnel a little bit, we wanted a little bit of fresh legs. Mshini (Ngcobo) has got a bacterial infection so he couldn’t play. We sort of created a little role for Mshini, because he’s been doing so well in that little number 10 in the pocket role, so we we went away from that today. So I think all in all the changes had a positive effect. But when you don’t win the game, you’re not completely happy.” Said Baxter. 

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Judging from Chiefs’ dull attacking display on Wednesday, it would appear that they need Ngcobo back sooner rather than later. Will he walk back straight into the side? 

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