Fernandez: Khune will get back to his best
Former Kaizer Chiefs and Bafana goalkeeper Rowen Fernandez has voiced his support for Itumeleng Khune after he saw out a difficult game in goal against Baroka.
Khune came back into the team on Tuesday night after being given time off following his girlfriend Sbahle Mpisane's car accident.
Having been involved in a fatal car crash himself during his playing career, Fernandez has suggested that he has some idea of what the Glamour Boys captain is going through.
"I was involved in a car accident in 2001 where unfortunately I knocked over a cyclist and he passed away, and then in the same week I was bitten by a spider and was in ICU for a week," recalled Fernandez to Vodacom Soccer.
"It was a test of character, and luckily at the time, Bobby [Motaung] was around and Muhsin [Ertugral] was around - and Rainer [Dinkelacker]. I had good support from the team itself, which was good for me."
Fernandez urged the club to show similar support for Khune, also praising him for making himself available despite trying circumstances after Virgil Vries picked up an injury on Saturday against Free State Stars.
"I think the team needs him with Virgil being out injured. Khune is the kind of person where if the team is down, he will be there for you," said Fernandez.
"It was nice of him to have been there. It would have been a very difficult game for him emotionally because of being so far away from the tragedy and not being there to support [Mpisane]."
Fernandez felt that Khune put in a decent shift at the Peter Mokaba Stadium, but has called for patience with the 31-year-old keeper.
"There were some glimpses of the Khune that we saw; the distribution was there, he made a couple of good saves, coming out for crosses and commanding his area," said the former Arminia Bielefeld goalkeeper.
"It was a very difficult game for him. I think he did well in the circumstances. It'll be a while before he gets back to his full mental capacity because of the situation, but he'll be back soon. He's been in the game for too long to not be back."