Question mark over Amakhosi

Fans are biting their nails about Kaizer Chiefs’ chances in Nedbank Cup decider against new kids Galaxy after the team’s recent poor showing

Kaizer Chiefs coach Ernst Middendorp talks to the media during an open day at their training venue on Wednesday
Kaizer Chiefs coach Ernst Middendorp talks to the media during an open day at their training venue on Wednesday
Image: GALLO IMAGES

Kaizer Chiefs’ poor run of late means even those who are supposed to back them to beat TS Galaxy and win the Nedbank Cup in Saturday’s soccer final at Moses Mabhida Stadium (kickoff 7pm) are doubtful about Amakhosi’s chances.

Speaking on the decider involving his old team‚ Chiefs legend and former Bafana Bafana captain Lucas Radebe said he was hopeful‚ but also cautious‚ in his assessment of what can be expected from coach Ernst Middendorp’s charges.

Radebe went as far as to say it might even be doubtful that Chiefs can beat the 10-monthold First Division side.

“Based on their performance‚ it’s even doubtful‚ because to be honest they haven’t really performed convincingly throughout the season and that’s why they finished outside the top eight‚” Radebe admitted.

Chiefs head into this clash on the back of just one win in their last seven across all competitions.

The victory they managed was against Chippa United‚ whom they beat 4-2 in the semifinals of this competition.

The other results were three league defeats and three draws‚ which led to them finishing outside the top eight in the Absa Premiership. They filled ninth spot.

“It’s hard‚ but the one thing that could inspire them [going forward] is to at least finish the season with silverware and salvage some of the dignity‚” Radebe said.

He said the fact that Chiefs had gone four seasons without a trophy meant the management had to act and ascertain the best way forward.

“I think with big clubs as well‚ once they hit that decline it hits them hard‚ because this is a club of high expectations.

“It’s sad to see that such a big club can suffer like this. I mean‚ four years without any silverware – it’s their worst run ever.

“Actually‚ the challenge is to win back the [Chiefs] faithful.

“It’s going to be hard for those individuals that are playing for the club to bring back those glory days.

“For me‚ it’s for the club to sit back and analyse the situation and look to see where things are going wrong‚ whether it’s in the management. Look upstairs‚” Radebe concluded.

Unsurprisingly, former Orlando Pirates star Steve Lekoelea is rooting for Galaxy.

“I see an upset . . . maybe the first half [would be a] draw and maybe 1-0 in 90 minutes to TS Galaxy‚” predicted the former Pirates darling.

Lekoelea denies having anything against Chiefs. He insists that he is backing TS Galaxy because of the brand of football they play and also based on the fact that Chiefs lost their last match 1-0 to Chippa United‚ which condemned them to a ninth-place finish in the Absa Premiership.

“Pirates and Chiefs are the same‚ because when they lose the match before they play a final‚ they can’t come back at the same time. It’s very difficult‚” Lekoelea argued.

“The Chiefs coach [Middendorp] is under pressure as well and TS Galaxy play good football,” he said.

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