Kaizer Chiefs midfielder, Siyethemba Sithebe, is urging his teammates and supporters to remain positive ahead of Amakhosi’s crunch encounter away to SuperSport United this weekend, as victory over Matsatsantsa will keep them in the hunt for continental qualification heading into the last game of the season.
The crafty ball-player has put last Saturday’s heartbreaking Soweto Derby exit from the Nedbank Cup behind him and has his sights set on finishing his first campaign at the Club on a high note.
Sithebe says the semifinal against their eternal rivals was, “a game we were disappointed to lose but we gave our best. Over the 120 minutes we made a few mistakes, but I am happy that we performed as a team,” quickly switching back to the present to focus on the task at hand.
"Coming to SuperSport, I think we need to keep focus because anything can happen. It’s still possible to get third position and, as players, it is important to have that motivation and our mindset needs to be positive.”
Having lost his place in the starting line-up after some indifferent performances following his move from AmaZulu, Sithebe knuckled down and forced his way back into coach, Arthur Zwane’s first team through sheer dedication and commitment. His recall has brought a sense of stability to the base of the Chiefs engine room and it was no coincidence that it coincided with the Club going on an impressive unbeaten run recently.
“For me,” he says, “it’s coming to the end of the season and I have played a lot of games. Even though I struggled here and there in the beginning of the season, I told myself that when I come back I need to work hard to be consistent in helping the team, so the most important thing has been to keep trying to improve.”
Now, he wants to carry that consistency into Saturday afternoon’s clash at Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace in Phokeng, when they kick their penultimate match of the DStv Premiership season off at 15:00.
A three-point haul for Amakhosi will take them to within one point of their third-placed opponents, with one round to play, and give them an opportunity to leapfrog them into next season’s CAF Confederations Cup on the final day.
SuperSport have gone five games unbeaten but failed to beat Chiefs in their first league meeting of the season, a 1-1 draw at FNB Stadium, and this time around, Sithebe hinted that they know what to expect and have done their homework.:
“All I can say is we know SuperSport and how they play. We need to be prepared for the long balls they play, and I think all our preparations are going well. The coach told us, " We can’t lose to Supersport, no matter what and with all our preparation, I think he is more positive that we can win this game,” he concludes.
Tickets for the match are on sale at www.ticketpros.co.za, online, and in-store at Spar Supermarkets as well as Sasol filling stations, at R60 per ticket.