By Sports Reporter
THE representative of Zimbabwe international Khama Billiat has come out in defence of the Kaizer Chiefs attacker, as pressure continues to mount on him to produce improved performances.
Billiat has been at the receiving end of some intense criticism in recent weeks after enduring arguably his worst ever season in South Africa’s s top-flight.
The 30-year-old forward has struggled to rediscover his scoring form after an injury-plagued start to the season, managing only one goal and as many assists so far from 16 appearances.
His solitary goal of the season came in September last year against basement side AmaZulu.
The form or lack thereof of the Kaizer Chiefs star player was again under the spotlight, following another lacklustre performance on Wednesday.
The former Ajax Cape Town and Mamelodi Sundowns forward played the full 90 minutes in the 3-1 defeat to Bloemfontein Celtic, again failing to make a notable impact on the proceedings which led to more scrutiny on the player’s loss of form.
Billiat’s agent Michael Ngobeni of M-Sport Management, however, has pleaded for patience towards the talented player.
Ngobeni feels its unfair to single out Billiat for criticism when the majority of the Kaizer Chiefs players have also been struggling. He also suggested that coach Ernst Middendorp’s tactics could be the reason why Chiefs have failed to get the best from the player.
“It’s a phase, which is affecting everyone (at Kaizer Chiefs). But to some people it’s like he is the only one playing there. Sometimes it depends on what the coach requires from a player. Maybe the coach wants him to come from deep inside to collect the ball and start the build-ups, while maybe other coaches from his previous clubs wanted him to focus only on the attack,” said Ngobeni.
The intermediary said the injury Billiat suffered earlier in the season might have added to his apparent loss of form.
“Players differ as some take time to recover, while others recover quickly. At the end of the day, he is still the Khama we know — the talent is there, and we just need to support what the coach says and that’s it (in reference to Chiefs coach Middendorp’s admission that Billiat isn’t having the best of campaigns),” Ngobeni said.
Billiat will be hoping to rediscover his form when Kaizer Chiefs host Stellenbosch at Orlando Stadium today looking to get their Absa Premiership title chase back on track.
Chiefs could have taken a massive step toward a first league title since 2015, but lost 3-1 against Bloemfontein Celtic at the Tuks Stadium to hand Middendorp’s men a fifth defeat of the campaign.
The result sees the Amakhosi head into the weekend with a five-point lead over nearest chasers Mamelodi Sundowns.