Malesela positive so far but urges more from players

WAY AHEAD: Chippa United coach Dan Malesela has big ambitions for the future of the club Picture: GALLO IMAGES
Chippa United coach Dan Malesela has big ambitions for the future of the club

Chippa United coach Dan “Dance” Malesela says he was happy with his team’s winning start to the season but maintains there is still work to be done within the squad.

The Port Elizabeth-based side had a superb start to the season after beating Free State Stars 2-1 in a Premier Soccer League opener at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Tuesday night.

It was two goals from Rhulani Manzini that ensured the Chilli Boys earned the three points at home.

Despite not being fully satisfied with his troop’s performance on the night, Malesela said there were many positives to take from the game.

“I think for me it’s more of a 50-50 thing,” the coach said. “In the sense there were moments where we made a lot of errors and there were moments where we were very good.

“But I am saying this with the understanding that it’s the first game of the season.

“Everybody at the beginning looks like a good team that can challenge for something, particularly when you come from off season where people were training and running every time.”

The former Orlando Pirates’ skipper said knowing they had another key encounter on Saturday could have also added some pressure on the players.

The Chilli Boys play Platinum Stars in an MTN 8 quarterfinal at Royal Bafokeng Stadium (kickoff 3pm).

“We have quite a number of players who have been with the PSL before or have been with the PSL and are just coming back again,” Malesela said.

“Marc van Heerden and Tshwarelo Bereng . . . it is pressure. Strydrom Wambi has been with Jomo Cosmos a long time ago.

“To be honest, we actually had two players with upset stomachs at half time.

“One player left the field and it was not because of the food that we had . . . It’s more of an anxiety that was causing all of this.

“Then from that you can see the result and say the result is good.”

Malesela felt the result was justified as his side had dominated. Ahead of the match, the coach spoke openly about his strike force not being up to standard.

Asked if he had seen some improvement during the match, Malesela responded: “It is still not up to scratch.

“Besides the fact that Rhulani scored the two goals, it doesn’t say that we are getting things right.

“There are things that you worry about that have to do with the game. You worry about how a person positions themselves.

“You worry about the control of the ball, if he can hold up the ball consistently. We don’t have that as yet.

“We are still struggling but besides that I think you cannot crucify the players because the surface was very slippery.

“Maybe I am just too pushy, maybe we will see a different game at the weekend.”

Not wanting to go too deep into his plans for the MTN8 fixture against Dikwena, Malesela said he had a game plan in mind. But that was all he was prepared to say, playing his cards close to his chest.

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