Itumeleng Khune is slowly rediscovering his passion for football and Kaizer Chiefs coach, Gavin Hunt is confident that he will soon be back to his best. The Amakhosi keeper has had some terrible performances that saw him being relegated to the bench for the first time is his otherwise decorated career.
Khune has used a forced substitute in Chiefs’ 1-0 over Wydad Athletic in a Caf Champions League Group C match at FNB Stadium on Saturday evening after Daniel Akpeyi was sent off in the first half. The Bafana Bafana star gave a good performance and made some credible saves.
Asked about him after the match, Hunt said he had gotten bored with football, but seems to be finding his way back into it again.
“He’s had a hell of time in his life, you know with what’s happened. But I can see he is coming back, mentally. I always felt his problem – I spoke to him about this, so I don’t want to hide it – is that he fell out of love with the game. You’ve got to love the game. But it happens in a football career sometimes (that you fall out of love with it),” said Hunt.
Khune also recently lost his little sister in a fire that burnt his family home to ashes earlier last month and was given some time off. Hunt feels the time away may have helped him refocus on his career.
“What’s happened to him off the field was tragic but sometimes in football, you need something to jolt you… he’s coming back. You’ve got to want to go to training everyday and love it, if you don’t it’s a problem. I’ve spoken to him about it,” added the Amakhosi mentor.
Hunt was satisfied with his team’s overall display in a game they finished with nine players after Samir Nurkovic was also sent off towards the end of the second half.
“It was a dominant performance and a well-deserved win. In the first half we had some good chances that we couldn’t take care of. I thought the longer the game went, we’d struggle. And then the game was spoilt, but we did what we had to,” he said.