Kaizer Chiefs can channel their anger after their 2-1 Premier League defeat to Bidvest Wits on Tuesday night and bounce back immediately against Cape Town City‚ Amakhosi coach Steve Komphela said.
The coach did add the perhaps telling proviso‚ though‚ that if Chiefs failed to bounce back in their MTN 8 quarterfinal against City at Cape Town Stadium on Friday night their confidence would take a knock.
John Comitis’s new PSL team City‚ bought from the franchise of Mpumalanga Black Aces‚ started with a confidenceboosting 2-0 win against Polokwane City on Tuesday.
Komphela is wary of meeting a side who are such an unknown quantity. “The beginning of the season is very difficult because you don’t know much about these opponents‚” he said.
“The same with Bidvest Wits at the start of the season – you don’t know. It’s Cape Town City that we know as Black Aces – they’ve made a lot of changes.
“The beauty of having two matches in a week is that while you’re still angry you can bounce back.
“But we have to because if you don’t it knocks your confidence.”
Confidence is an issue Chiefs might need to address after a disjointed performance that belied the scoreline‚ wilting in the face of Wits’ physical intensity and pace at Bidvest Stadium.
The display – even though the evidence of just one game is clearly misleading – has set tongues wagging that Chiefs have not improved much despite overhauling their squad after a 2015-16 season in which Amakhosi did not win a trophy and finished fifth in the PSL.
“Not really‚” Komphela replied to that suggestion.
“There are a lot of things we saw‚ more especially in the [preseason Black Label Cup] match against Orlando Pirates.
“Tonight there were also things we did wrong that we need to go and rectify.
“But the opportunity is on Friday. Go on Friday and win the match and you will be OK.
“You don’t win the league through the first match.”
Komphela said George Lebese’s not firing for Chiefs on the left affected his side’s width‚ and that Amakhosi failed to keep the ball on the ground and to match Wits in intensity.
“We said before the game that this game was going to be very physical.
“And we allowed it to be physical by not pressing the ball.
“The only way to play is to keep possession – and Wits kept the ball in the air.
“We needed to put it on the ground. And every time we put it on the ground and started playing we would press.
“Wits had more energy‚ they were more aggressive. It was only towards the end of the match that we came to life.”
Komphela’s team selections against Wits have been a talking point.
The lack of an appearance from Chiefs’ signings – Ramahlwe Mphahlele started‚ and Lewis Macha and Emmanuel Letlotlo came off the bench – use of Bernard Parker at centre forward‚ and persistence with the ineffective Hendrick Ekstein at second striker‚ raised eyebrows.