Chippa coach upbeat for opener

Chippa United coach Dan “Dance” Malesela says getting the starting 11 absolutely correct will provide the team with a solid foundation for the new Premier Soccer League season.

The Chilli Boys kick off their league campaign against Free State Stars at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium tomorrow (7.30pm).

“A good start is very important,” he told a media briefing.

“That is what either builds and motivates you or sort of demotivates you and gives you a lot of challenges.

“Because, first of all you have to have a starting lineup and you say, ‘This is what we think can start for us for the season’.

“If you get results out of that, then you will probably say, ‘Now I have a foundation’.

“But if you don’t have that, you are going to be shuffling the team every time or chopping and changing the team, trying to find the best combination,” he said.

“So, we do not want that to happen. That is why we need to be 100% sure that what we have now is what we think the starting lineup will be.

“We already have an idea of who will be starting and who will not be starting.

“If we get that right with the first game, then we can build from there.”

The former Orlando Pirates’ and Mamelodi Sundowns’ defender said his team had done fairly well in the pre-season and that he was expecting good results.

But he warned the team was not complete in terms of technical work, although they were confident they would get there.

“We are good enough to get results. We have competitions on offer and we want to win something this season,” the coach said. “If we can challenge for the league, so be it.

“I think we have a squad that is good enough to do that.

“I think the competition we have created among our players is healthy enough to put pressure on individuals and also to compete against their peers in the league.

“I think we have a good enough team to challenge for most of the competitions on offer in the league.”

Chippa have lost many of their players from last season, but they have also roped in quite a number of new players for this season.

Malesela is positive they have made good replacements. “We have lost a number of players which is fine. What we have lost I think we have replaced very well, from what I see.

“I would say we are slightly better without taking anything away from the players that were here,” he said.

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