Amakhosi head coach Molefi Ntseki believes his team is developing nicely, following their impressive 2-0 victory over Stellenbosch FC in Cape Town on Wednesday evening.
It was the Glamour Boys’ second win in four days, following their convincing win against AmaZulu at the weekend, and moves them up to fifth spot in the DStv Premiership.
“It is a very important win. Coming into this game after playing AmaZulu the turnaround time was very short, but we kept our players focused on doing what must be done to deal with Stellies, and I think we did very well,” the coach said after the match.
Game by game, Amakhosi are starting to show steady improvement in all areas of the pitch and have scored five goals and kept two clean sheets in their past two outings.
“Our forward players took their chances and Brandon (Petersen) made two great saves to keep us in the match when it was in the balance. I am very happy we scored two goals and did not concede. Now we have six points in a row,” said Ntseki, adding, “You can practice anything at training but the most important thing is the mental strength to take that into a match situation. I think we can see that the boys are improving as a team, both in and out of possession, as well as in transition. I want to add to that set plays. We are scoring from set pieces, which is important in games when it is difficult to break down the opponents in open play.”
Despite being satisfied with the positive direction the team is heading in, Ntseki emphasised that it is still early days, and much hard work lies ahead.
“There’s still a long way to go because this is a marathon. We have only played a few games, which is essentially taking baby steps in terms of tactical understanding. At the back our two new central defenders are settling in. In midfield, you can see the partnership developing between Yusuf Maart and Edson Castillo, and up front the decisions on making runs and passes is also improving. We always go back to training to correct any mistakes we made, but I think we are making very good progress,” he said.
With five goals without reply in two matches, Ntseki praised his forwards for the effort they have put in during training to sharpen up in front of goal.
“We have put a lot of work into drilling the offensive players. They understand the demands, they understand the movements and what technical adjustments they need to make to score goals. The first goal was a good combination, coming inside, and it was very good execution for him (Pule Mmodi) to score that goal. Christian is a very vibrant player. He is always looking to score. Our goals came from combinations of offensive play.”
Amakhosi have no time to rest though. Looming into view is Saturday’s MTN8 semifinal first leg against Sundowns. Notwithstanding the logistical circumstances, Ntseki insists his team will be ready and up for the challenge against the Brazilians.
“The first leg is going to be a very tough one, but if you look back at how we have been performing, the team is ready. We have to emphasise our strengths. Unfortunately, we don’t have many recovery days. We fly back to Joburg and only have one training session before playing Sundowns. But that is how things are and what’s important for us is to be mentally very strong and give the players confidence, because this is one game where we have to do well,” he concluded.