Post-view: Platinum Stars
On Tuesday last week we traveled to Rustenburg for our game against Platinum Stars. We had not seen much of the side prior to our game but we were expecting a tough match from them. Jimmy Tau was rested for the game as he is not yet ready to play three games in a row and this gave an opportunity to Milton Mmbooi who did very well on the right side of defense.
We made up to six changes on the side that had lost against Maritzburg United and those changes did work as we came back with maximum points. Reneilwe Letsholonyane playing alongside Tinashe Nengomasha has a solid game. Credit too should go to the Chiefs medical department for getting the player ready after sustaining that unfortunate injury back in July. He, like any other player is a key player to my plans this season.
Nkosinathi Nhleko started the game on the bench as he sustained a minor knock against Maritzburg United and this gave an opportunity to Jose Torrealba to start alongside Kaizer Motaung Jr up front. Kaizer is ready now having gone through a difficult period early this season. He knows, like all the players in the team, we will support him through and through.
As for the game, it was a very difficult one from a psychological point of view and as the Technical Team we were delighted that the guys shrugged the pressure off to win the game. The win was a huge boost to the squad.
Preview: Bloemfontein Celtic
We are taking on Celtic in front of their vociferous supporters tonight (Wednesday). Celtic has already shown that they can compete with any side that comes down here (Bloemfontein) and it is not a mistake that they are lying third in the league table. They are a very good side with very skillful players and we will have to be at our best to beat them.
For this game we are welcoming both Josta Dladla and Abia Nale who both have been out due to minor injuries. This is a nice headache for me as a coach; I have most of the players available for this game. I am sure the atmosphere is going to be a fantastic one at the stadium as both sets of fans are passionate about their teams. I am also confident that both teams will dish out good football tonight and as for us we will be fighting for a win.
We have more than 20 odd games to go and the fight for the league championship is far from over. We remain focused and we are certainly not fazed by the criticism that has questioned our quest to challenge for league honours this season.
Valery Nahayo and Itumeleng Khune are both out with injuries. Itumeleng Khune has already started training as an infield player. He is showing nice touches at training as an infield player but he will have a mountain to climb if he aims to trade his gloves for goal scoring boots. We are happy with both player’s progress and we hope to have them both ready soon to start full training.
I did express my feelings last week on the kaizerchiefs.com about the call up of both Reneilwe Letsholonyane and Siphiwe Tshabalala. People should not interpret this differently, as the Club we will always be happy to have players in the national team but we felt that the two players needed rest. “Yeye” started the game and I think he had a decent game playing in the heart of the midfield and I am delighted that he came back unscathed. Siphiwe Tshabalala remains an important player for both Club and country and needs to be protected by both the Club and the national team.
National U-20 World Cup
I would like to take this opportunity and wish our players, Mandla Masango and Thela Ngobeni all the best during the tournament starting in Egypt this coming weekend. We are particularly happy for Thela Ngobeni who recovered in time for the tournament after sustaining an injury mid August.
The Premier Soccer League should be congratulated for moving the MTN8 final to October allowing the youngsters to focus on the tournament. It is really a big stage for them and I would like to send my best wishes to the whole team.