Kaizer Chiefs coach Steve Komphela says he is understanding of the expectations of him to land his first piece of silverware, but has his mind on the immediate hurdle.
His former club Maritzburg United is the threat that the Amakhosi will have to negate if they are to eventually find their way to the podium as champions.
With the league cup competition starting at a time when they have built some decent momentum in their Absa Premiership campaign, how does that factor in towards to enhancing the club’s desires of making sure that expectations are met?
“We take one match at a time,” responded Komphela. “You will understand that okay, we are in a good space; we have been getting results; the team is confident but, as we are saying this, this is a once off match so it needs maximum focus.
“Without stressing too much about the outcome, you try and go through it understanding that it is the only 90 minutes [that matter], and after that 90 minutes you have no option again.
“So you must bring a certain level of understanding that you don’t want to overemphasise, but still you need to understand that this is the only chance [to win].”
The former Bafana Bafana caretaker coach is aware that they amongst the teams carrying the ‘favourites’ tag in this tournament, but explains that it will by no means be a “walk in tha park”.
“For me as a coach, like any other coach, you will want to see yourself go all the way and, where possible, lift it,” he added. “With Chiefs, the expectations that you have been doing well would be that we have to win it but it is not just going to be walk in the park, you still need to dig deep, fight hard and get a result.
“The challenge will be ‘how do you deal with players who have been performing very well’? [To them] you say, ‘listen, we don’t need to be complacent because the minute you are complacent you are going to commit errors and become mediocre and your quality gets affected.’ We still need to be focused on Saturday’s match.”
Yet surely this will be yet another knockout competition that provides a litmus test for his capabilities as coach of a top club to do what is expected of him – bring back the silverware to Naturena. Komphela, however, says it is one that he is up to.
“Every day of our lives; every match that we go through, as coaches, is a test. The beauty of football is that, for coaches, they always need to solve the next problem.
“After a victory you look forward to the next match, it is the next test. After a defeat you look forward to the next match, the next test. Even after a successful spell, there is always a test.
“Those who design tests, or those who compile questions, have the mastery of presenting questions that are going to reflect on what they think will come out.
“It is important for you [as a coach] that you understand that [the test] does not define yourself, but define the process, so your focus has to be clear [that it is not you writing the test, [but] you are on a mission of getting the team to get the results,” he concluded.
The Last 16 clash is scheduled to taked place at the FNB Stadium on Saturday, with kick-off set for 20h15.
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