KAIZER Chiefs coach Arthur Zwane has thrown his weight behind misfiring striker Ashley du Preez, backing him to “bounce back strong” from his current slump.
The 25-year-old former Stellenbosch FC forward seems to be low on confidence at the moment, and his performances for club and country have been underwhelming.
Du Preez has been guilty of squandering some glorious goal scoring opportunities for Bafana Bafana and his club Chiefs in the last few games, something that has dented his confidence.
His glaring miss in Amakhosi’s 1-1 draw against AmaZulu in the MTN8 semi-final, first leg at FNB Stadium on Sunday, further shot his confidence down with some supporters showing their frustration.
But Zwane continues to have faith in Du Preez’s ability and insists it’s only a matter of time before the diminutive forward begins banging the goals in consistently.
“Ashley is a strong character, a big boy,” said Zwane.
“He’s one player who I believe in, we all believe in him, and we know that he’s going to get it right at some point.
“I have been saying that football is a game of mistakes and there are times when things won’t go your way. And as a coach, all I have to do is lift him and help him improve his game.
“The good thing is that he’s easy to work with and he’s focused. Ashley is going to score a lot of goals this season. He’s going to bounce back from this very strong.”
Du Preez wasn’t the only misfiring Chiefs striker against Usuthu, with fellow new signing Bonfils-Caleb Bimenyimana also struggling to find the target.
Zwane is hoping both forwards will have their scoring boots on when Chiefs travel to Durban for the second leg at Moses Mabhida Stadium on 23 October.
But before then, the Chiefs forwards will get an opportunity to redeem themselves when they face Swallows in a DStv Premiership clash at Dobsonville Stadium tomorrow (7.30pm).
“It’s a game of mistakes and it also allows you to rectify those mistakes. We are going to go back to training and try and polish our finishing,” added Zwane.