Chiefs hoping to make it three out of three
Kaizer Chiefs coach Steve Komphela is unsure yet if his team’s back-to-back wins – gained in unconvincing fashion – represent a turnaround of some sort‚ after a stuttering start to the season.
Amakhosi are coming off a morale-boosting 2-0 home Premier Soccer League victory over Maritzburg United at FNB Stadium on Saturday, following a 1-0 win away at Highlands Park in Tembisa last week, to arrest a three-match winless streak.
Komphela’s men stuttered to two defeats and a draw in their opening three matches.
Following his side’s backto-back victories‚ Komphela believes Chiefs are beginning to grow in confidence again.
But he was reluctant to commit to a turnaround.
“I wish I could tell what weather it will be tomorrow but I can only pray it becomes a sunny day‚” Komphela said after he was asked if the consecutive wins represented a turnaround for his team. A hat-trick of wins when Amakhosi meet Free State Stars at James Motlatsi Stadium in Orkney tonight (7.30pm) would surely be seen as a turning point of some sort‚ but Komphela is adopting a cautious approach.
Chiefs were beaten 2-1 at Bidvest Wits on the opening day of the campaign on August 23.
They were bundled out of the MTN8 at the quarterfinal stage when they lost 1-0 away at Cape Town City and were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Platinum Stars in their third match of the season.
Chiefs will look to make it three wins from three when they travel to Orkney to face winless Stars.
Despite their mediocre start, and the negative press that has engendered‚ Amakhosi are placed fourth on the Absa Premiership log with seven points – two behind log-leaders Golden Arrows.
Komphela emphasised the need for his team to keep in touch with the pack early on in the season.
“Staying with the pack is a must. Unfortunately, who we are [at Kaizer Chiefs] calls for leadership.
“We must always lead the pack‚ unfortunately. And leading the pack needs a lot of hard work‚” Komphela said.
“All that we are looking at is that this chemistry must be reinforced. We need more of ‘us’ – and the minute we are us‚ then it’s going to be us against the rest of the Premier Soccer League.”
The Stars team will be led by a new caretaker coach in Themba Sithole after Frenchman Denis Lavagne was sacked three matches into the season last week.
“Go get all the matches [Stars] played so that we can zoom in and understand what had been happening [with them] but also be mindful of the fact that they have just changed coaches‚” Komphela said.
“The previous coach is no more and obviously the current one [Sithole] will have his own thinking but players won’t change.
“We hope to go to Orkney on Wednesday on the back of two wins with confidence‚ and try to get a result.
“But it’s not easy because of who we [Chiefs] are – the challenge forever remains very difficult.”