Khune’s return is a big factor to our season – Cardoso

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The return of Kaizer Chiefs captain Itumeleng Khune from a long term injury is going to be a huge factor in the team’s ambitions this season.

This is according to Chiefs defender Daniel Cardoso ahead of Amakhosi’s Absa Premiership game against Baroka FC at the FNB Stadium on Saturday (Kick-off @18:00).

Khune returned to the starting line-up during the 2-0 win over AmaZulu FC on Tuesday and it was his first game since December last year. Cardoso says Khune returns at a good time and this will bring the much needed confidence in their defensive organisation.

The game against Usuthu also marked Khune’s first official match under head coach  Ernst Middendorp since the German’s arrival for his second stint with Chiefs in December. Middendorp, who has been using Daniel Akpeyi and Bruce Bvuma in Khune’s absence, says the Bafana Bafana goalkeeper brings a lot of experience to the team.

Chiefs are currently on top of the log tied on 13 points with Polokwane City after six games played but a superior goal difference sees them ahead. Six points from Baroka on Saturday and Golden Arrows on Tuesday could see them in pole position to clinch Q1 and Cardoso says that’s another motivation for his side.

In the corresponding fixture last season Baroka shocked Chiefs with a 1-0 win at the same venue and it was one of Middendorp’s five losses in the league.

On Saturday, Middendorp is not expecting any surprises as he says they have been following Bakgaga in their recent matches and focuses on how they set-up in this game. – Report by Velile Mnyandu