SA football icon and former Kaizer Chiefs midfielder Doctor Khumalo has come out in defence of Orlando Pirates star midfielder Thembinkosi Lorch and is backing the latter to bounce back and regain his form.
The Bucs forward has struggled to replicate the form of last season, which saw him walk away with the PSL Footballer of the Season award.
Although he did show glimpses of what he is capable of when on top of his game, in Bucs 2-2 draw (Bucs lost 4-2 on penalties) against arch-rivals Kaizer Chiefs last saturday with 2 assists in the Telkom Knockout quarter finals.
“I’d like to believe that every player goes through a phase in his career, so Lorch is probably exposed to that at the moment,” Khumalo told FARPost.co.za.
“But he will bounce back, if we think the form is gone. But obviously having won the prestigious award, it puts a lot of pressure on an individual, but it’s how you react you know, that’s another vital way of doing it” Says Khumalo
The 1992 Footballer of the Year also shared his thoughts on what he feels Lorch needs to do to rediscover his form of last season and get back to scoring and creating goals for the Buccaneers and says it’s still premature to rule out Lorch this season.
“At the moment it would be unfair to point a finger of judging, you know. Lorch is still inexperienced in this, he will grow in all of this in terms of him realising how important it is, we all went through that phase.
“Slowly but surely he will realise and regain his form. But I don’t think it is fair for people to say he is done and dusted, no, no, no, no.
“I’d like to believe that personally, he’s just going through a phase and he will bounce back. And it’s not like he is 100% out, no no no. He will find himself and personally he will bounce back, mark my words.”
Lorch has scored only 1 goal so far this season in 10 games and 16v believes “Nyoso” raised the bar for himself last season and now people expected a lot from him this season
“It comes with the territory, you know. He did well for himself last season – raised the bar. Always when you achieve something, we always look up to you…. we always look up at what you will offer next,” concluded the former Bafana Bafana international.
Lorch will come up against Kaizer Chiefs at FNB Stadium on Saturday.
By Shane Matsoyane