Despite a perfect record from their first two games in the Premiership, Kaizer Chiefs are already missing the services of key player Morgan Gould.
|Morgan Gould © Backpagepix
Speaking after their 2-1 league victory over Mamelodi Sundowns at Soccer City on Wednesday evening, Amakhosi coach Stuart Baxter said they were feeling the absence of Gould who ruptured his Achilles tendon the day before.
"This was a very difficult game, not because Sundowns are a good side but because of the accident with Morgan," Baxter said.
"We were flying up until that moment and I think it dampened the dressing room. So the players are wondering now how we will manage, and how the organisation will be.
"I think all the players picked up a bit of the slack in terms of leadership that Morgan usually gives us."
Gould, a regular starter for Bafana Bafana, signed with Chiefs at the beginning of the season from SuperSport United.
"If you lose a player of Morgan Gould's capability it's always a big blow," Baxter said.
"It's a blow because Morgan is a good player, he's a leader, and it's a blow because it unbalances the squad.
"I think (Tefu) Mashamaite did a great job this evening. I think Mashamaite is a good player and I'm sure he'll do a good job, but it makes the squad a bit thin.
"It means we cannot get red cards, we cannot get injuries, because then we're weakening the squad. It's a blow because of that, on top of the fact that Morgan's a good player."
The injury, according to Baxter, was serious, and Gould would be out for most of the season.
"His injury is a virtual total rupture of the Achilles tendon," Baxter said.
"It was probably hanging on by a few threads.
"(He'll be out) anything between four and six-and-a-half months. We're talking about a long injury (layoff)."
Elsewhere on Wednesday, Orlando Pirates and SuperSport United, the only teams to have won the Premiership title in the last five seasons, played to a dull 0-0 stalemate in Polokwane.
Moroka Swallows fought back from a goal down to convincingly beat Free State Stars 3-1 in Dobsonville, and Bloemfontein Celtic bagged a 2-1 home win over Platinum Stars at Free State Stadium.
Newcomers University of Pretoria stunned Golden Arrows with a 1-0 victory in Durban, while Wits and Black Leopards settled for a 2-2 draw at Bidvest Stadium.
The league takes a short break for MTN8 second leg semifinals this weekend.
Pirates host SuperSport at Orlando Stadium on Saturday, in their third match in a week, after the first leg ended in a goalless draw.
Swallows are at home to Sundowns in Dobsonville after the first leg was drawn 3-3.