Giovanni Solinas says Willard Katsande is a Kaizer Chiefs legend but that doesn’t mean he must play every game, while he is also mindful of managing the workload of star player Khama Billiat.
Katsande, who joined Chiefs in 2011 from Ajax Cape Town, has become a key contributor for the Glamour Boys over the years with his consistent and industrious displays in the engine room.
However, coach Solinas says he has to prepare for “plan B” in case the tough-tackling 32-year-old is unavailable.
“We are trying to play football, but also Maluleka is good defensively, a good attacker and able to recover the ball,” said the PSL’s Coach of the Month for September.
“There’s no problem. You can play Maluleka and Ntshangase together or Ntshangase-Katsande, or Maluleka-Katsande for example. Against Free State Stars, he [Maluleka] played very well when he went with Katsande, so we have a very good combination.
“In my opinion today [Saturday], the midfielders, the performance was okay.
“Katsande is very important in the team. He’s a legend for Kaizer Chiefs and I respect Katsande. He is very important for me, very important for the club, very important for his teammates.
“But Katsande doesn’t have to play every game. If you checked the midfielders that played, Katsande is number one, but it’s not possible [to play him all the time].
“I need to prepare the plan B when Katsande is suspended, when he’s tired, when Katsande is injured. So we also need this [plan B].”
Solinas is also wary of placing too much pressure on the shoulders of PSL Player of the Month Billiat, who was not at his best against Rise and Shine as he struggled to make a difference without his injured strike partner Leonardo Castro.
“Khama? No, at this moment we are without Castro,” Solinas said.
“I try to reduce the minutes for Billiat. For example I pulled out Billiat against AmaZulu. I pulled Billiat out against Free State Stars … I’m trying you know to rest Billiat.
”But Billiat is very important for us, you know. We’re also trying to manage the situation.”