Siyethemba Sithebe was going to struggle at some point at Kaizer Chiefs as he was entering the new environment, said coach Arthur Zwane.
However, Zwane said the loss of form is part of the game because it happens globally to other players, while injuries have also robbed his team of consistent team selections.
Sithebe played one of his best games for Chiefs on Friday, cultivating things, being the carrier of the ball as Amakhosi knocked Maritzburg United out of the Nedbank Cup last 32 at Harry Gwala Stadium.
Without his admission, Sithebe might have been gutted to have missed the Soweto Derby in October last year, with Zwane opting for Njabulo Blom and Yusuf Maart instead.
However, the former has since departed the club, joining Saint Louis City in the MSL, opening up the space for Sithebe to have a look in again.
“We knew that at some point he was going to struggle a little bit there and there because this is football,” said Zwane to iDiski times.
“And it is not only him, but any other players being hot and cold. And what has been affecting us is injuries, in terms of getting the combinations right so that everyone settles in quickly.
“But unfortunately we are forced to chop and change the team. Today we lost Mduduzi Shabalala, last week we lost Caleb-Bonfils Bimenyimana, three weeks ago we lost two players – both rights, weeks before that we lost Nkosingiphile Ngcobo, it is obviously a worrying factor.
“It also affected the performance of other individuals because when you think you are getting the combinations right, then he (Sithebe) is losing that partner.
“Then we have to start looking for options to compliment who in terms of complimenting each other because before you can get it right, you have to make sure that the players understand each other, and you are always looking for that.
“Unfortunately we have been unlucky in looking for that due to injuries as I have been saying and other unforeseen circumstances. But we don’t have a choice, we have to soldier on and focus on the positives.”
Chiefs scored their goals in extra-time through Christian Saile Basomboli and Ashley du Preez against 10-man Maritzburg, something that delighted Zwane to see his centre forwards put their chances away.
Amakhosi, who last won the Ke Yona Cup in 2013, reached the round of 16 for the first time since the 2019/20 season.