Listening to Bernard Parker speaking in front of a packed media at the PSL Headquarters this afternoon, one gets a sense of a Kaizer Chiefs team that is united and ready for the upcoming challenge.
“We are in a good state,” says Parker. “Mentally we are even stronger. The mood in camp is at an unbelievable level.”
Parker was the scorer of the winner in extra time, the last time Chiefs lifted the Nedbank Cup in 2013. Ironically the win was against SuperSport United, the team they’re meeting on Saturday, this time in the 2017 quarterfinals.
“If you watched our training, you would have seen what I’m talking about,” reveals Parker. “We are sharing positive thoughts. We are talking about the Champions League and things outside football. It’s amazing and out of this world. We are inspiring each other in camp and our camaraderie is on a high.”
With Amakhosi chasing a double, Parker shared his optimism. “We held a discussion as a team before the start of the second round of the league fixtures,” says Parker. “We set goals for ourselves. This is a must win situation for us, for both the league and cup. The coach has said it and we have to take each game at a time.”
Parker remained cautious as well, “We just have to keep calm and stay tuned for the next training session and the next game, that’s all we need now. I’m glad to see the guys fully focused and we want to get to the next round.”
Parker thinks Gustavo Páez has a lot to offer to the team.
“As the most senior player in our attacking line,” says Parker with maximum confidence. “I always remind the guys to stay united as striking partners. With Páez coming in, he has to understand us well and so far he is doing it well. With my experience and his pace I’m able to spot him easily.”
“If you recall the days when I played with Knowledge Musona, Lehlohonolo Majoro and Kingston Nkhatha,” reminisces Parker. “It is the same setup and so far things seem to be coming right for us.”
“We have learnt from the situation and we are wiser now going forward,” Parker referring to the last season where Chiefs didn’t lift any silverware. “With faith and belief we will lift a trophy this season.”
Nedbank Cup Quarterfinals
Kaizer Chiefs vs SuperSport United
Saturday 22 April