Thamsanqa Sangweni’s absence in the Chippa United midfield could be the major reason why the club have gone off the boil‚ although coach Dan ‘Dance’ Malesela is not as convinced as the pundits.
“Obviously when you make changes‚ there is going to be some sort of impact. Whether it is negative or positive that stands to be seen‚” said the coach as Chippa prepared to host Kaizer Chiefs in the Absa Premiership at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Saturday.
The Port Elizabeth-based side are in a slump as they have not won in their last eight matches and Sangweni‚ who had been their midfield pivot‚ has been missing for more than half of those games.
“With Zuke and Siya [Ngubane] being there it has been tempered a bit. Zuke surprised me for someone who has not played football for about six months. He has slotted in so well and his fitness was unbelievable for someone who had been sitting at home.
“He must have been taking very good care of himself. I appreciate the contribution‚” the coach added.
Zuke‚ 29‚ was let go by Chippa at the end of last season but then re-signed last month and has played in the starting line-up in the last two outings against Orlando Pirates and Maritzburg United.
The 27-year-old Sangweni has not played since going off at half-time of the 1-1 home draw with Platinum Stars‚ suffering a hamstring injury.
He started training again last week but then injured the hamstring again and is now not likely to play again this year.