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Kaizer Chiefs' Ngcobo to pay the price for losing his cool?

07:41 GMT 28/04/2022
Njabulo Ngcobo, Kaizer Chiefs, February 2022
The Amakhosi centre-back was replaced by Daniel Cardoso in the 72nd minute, having made the mistake which led to Arrows' equaliser

Kaizer Chiefs defender Njabulo Ngcobo might potentially be facing disciplinary action for his reaction to being subbed during Wednesday's 2-1 defeat to Golden Arrows.

Minutes after giving away the ball to Siboniso Conco to score in the 60th minute, Ngcobo nearly gifted Arrows a second goal with another careless pass, and he was subbed not long after.

While walking past co-coach Dillon Sheppard on the touchline, Ngcobo refused to shake hands, and then shrugged off assistant coach Lee Baxter, who had run over and grabbed the player.

It wasn't a great moment for the player nor the club, at what was a full house with a charged atmosphere at the Princess Magogo Stadium.

Chiefs will now decide if some sort of disciplinary measure is needed, or whether a talking to will suffice.

In this case, the second option would surely be best, even if Ngcobo’s dissent was not good for team morale or discipline standards.

That's taking into account the emotions which were running strong at the end of what has largely been a difficult season for the Soweto side.

After a stuttering, stop-start campaign for the Glamour Boys in which he has often been played out of position by previous coach Stuart Baxter, Ngcobo was only just starting to get a run in the starting XI as a centre-back.

Having had to watch on earlier in the season as the likes of Erick Mathoho and Daniel Cardoso regularly made mistakes but continued to play - while he sat on the bench or got a few minutes in an unaccustomed midfield role - Ngcobo would probably have been feeling angered about being taken off.

The poor performance - his worst in a Chiefs jersey, would only have added to his anguish.

It’s only human to have been upset in his situation Ngcobo is the kind of player who wears his heart on his sleeve.

And after what has been a testing first season for him, it would be harsh if Wednesday's little bit of indiscretion led to him losing his place in the team or being punished in some way.

What the 27-year-old current PSL Defender of the Season needs most is to be able to settle in and get some regular game-time and perhaps in this case, an arm around the shoulder approach from management may be what’s needed. Because he has shown glimpses that he has what it takes to cement his place in the heart of the Chiefs defence for the next few years.