Malesela the man to help beat knockout hoodoo
Chippa United will be aiming to banish their knockout cup hoodoo when they play Platinum Stars in an MTN8 quarterfinal at Royal Bafokeng Stadium, in Rustenburg tomorrow (kick-off 3pm).
Since their involvement in knockout matches in the 2013/14 season, Chippa have never passed the first round and they are desperately wanting to remedy that against Dikwena tomorrow afternoon.
And coach Dan “Dance” Malesela is seen as the technical wizard who can turn those fortunes around.
The Chilli Boys finished in an impressive sixth place last season to book themselves a place in the lucrative MTN8 competition, where they stand a chance to walk away with a massive R8-million prize.
After their superb start in the league in beating Free State Stars 2-1 with goals from Rhulani Manzini at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Tuesday, they will be confident they have what it takes to progress to the semifinals tomorrow.
Malesela said he had hatched a plan to keep Platinum Stars at bay, but was not prepared to divulge exactly what it entailed.
But in comparing cup matches with league fixtures, the former Cape Town All Stars coach said teams should always have a solid back line in cup games.
“You need to be a bit tighter in a cup game than in a league game in terms of your defending,” he said.
“Not only our defence as in the back four, but the whole team defending. When you become a bit loose in a league game you have time to recover.
“In the cup game, the approach would be a bit tighter and safer.”
In the 2014-15 season, the Chilli Boys lost 1-0 to Stars in the Telkom Knockout Challenge, which was followed by a 4-2 defeat on penalties by ABC Motsepe side Natal United.
Last season, Chippa lost 2-0 to Mamelodi Sundowns in the Telkom Knockout Challenge. They were also knocked out of the Nedbank Cup by Baroka FC 3-2.
Malesela has been clear on his ambitions for Chippa United.
Besides wanting to be a side that dominates in the league, winning trophies is on top of his to-do list.
“We have competitions on offer and we want to win something. If we can challenge for the league so be it,” he said.
“We have a squad good enough to do that. I think the competition we have created among the players is good enough to put pressure on individuals and also to compete against their peers in the league.”
Meanwhile, on-fire Orlando Pirates striker Tendai Ndoro has heaped praise on the team’s head coach Muhsin Ertugral, saying his training methods are on point.
Speaking after netting a hat-trick to help Pirates beat Golden Arrows 3-1 at Orlando Stadium this week, the 28-year-old said his goals were a result of the kind of training they did under the new coach.
Ndoro used the example of his first goal, a well-worked move by midfielder Mpho Makola and Thabo Rakhale, with the latter playing the final pass to Ndoro to finish.
“The coach always tells us to time [the runs],” Ndoro said.
“He says: ‘Don’t just run when the other player is not ready to cross the ball’.
“If you look at all the goals, they are from training, so if we follow the coach’s instructions every game we have a chance to score.”