Home Sport Nurkovic in a happy place after goal drought ends

Nurkovic in a happy place after goal drought ends

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Kaizer Chiefs’ Samir Nurkovic in action in the DStv Premiership
FILE – Kaizer Chiefs’ Samir Nurkovic in action in the DStv Premiership. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Kaizer Chiefs’ Serbian striker Samir Nurkovic is happy to back on the score sheet having overcome lengthy injury lay-offs over the last two seasons.

Johannesburg – Samir Nurkovic is in a good state physically and mentally as he finally ended his goal drought for Kaizer Chiefs this season when he scored in their 3-1 win over Chippa United in the league at the Nelson Mandela Stadium on Saturday night.

Three seasons ago, the Serbian striker enjoyed a fruitful start to life at Chiefs. He scored 14 goals and registered six assists in 31 matches. But the change of coaches and a long-term injury in pre-season saw his numbers decline last campaign.

He only managed six goals and four assists last term. But following another long lay-off, the Serbian’s form had dropped this season before he finally scored for Chiefs in the win over the Chilli Boys. It was his 10th game of the season.

ALSO READ: Nurkovic finally breaks goal drought as Chiefs run Chippa ragged

“We have to be realistic, I was going through a lot of challenges after my surgery, “Nurkovic said. “But I was working hard on my physical and mental state. I think things are falling back into the right place once again at the moment.”

Nurkovic says he’s not planning to rest on his laurels as he wants “to do my best on every game and to help the team in the best possible way”. And that will have to continue on Tuesday when they welcome TS Galaxy at FNB Stadium.

ALSO READ: Every game from now on is a cup final for Chiefs

Chiefs are third in the league, 13 behind leaders Mamelodi Sundowns, and they are hellbent to finish in the top two. Galaxy, meanwhile, are eager to avoid the drop as they are 15th and one point ahead of bottom side Baroka.

The odds favour Chiefs going into this match, after Galaxy were hammered by Royal AM 4-1 on Saturday. But Chiefs will have to guide against complacency given that the Rockets knocked them out of the Nedbank Cup last 32 early this year.

ALSO READ: High-flying Royal AM rout TS Galaxy

“Obviously, we have to respect each and every team that we play against ,” Nurkovic said. “Today everybody is playing football and it is getting better and better each and every year. Everything is on a higher level with every passing game.

“But we have to look at ourselves and improve on our performances in each and every game. If we perform the way we did against Chippa, everything will be fine. We just have to carry on with the same fighting spirit and respect all teams.”

For the first time in over two years, Chiefs will welcome back 50% of their fans back at the stadium when they host SuperSport United on April 16. So how important is it for the team to get a win over the Rockets at home on Tuesday night?

“I personally can’t wait to have the supporters, the Amakhosi family, back on the stands,” Nurkovic, who’s nicknamed “Kokota Piano” by the fans, said. “They are like our 12th player all the time and they always give us some extra motivation.”

Amakhosi have played two games fewer than most teams in the league after forfeiting them due to the outbreak of Covid-19. And with the future of their arbitration case still up in the air, they have to control what they can and win their remaining matches.

@Mihlalibaleka

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