Like the trusted soldier he is, Kaizer Chiefs captain Itumeleng Khune put on a brave face on Thursday afternoon and pledged the team’s support for embattled coach Steve Komphela.
Speaking ahead of tomorrow’s night’s titanic MTN8 match against SuperSport United, set for Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban, Khune said it is not only Komphela who should carry the blame for the team’s disastrous campaign last season.
Amakhosi finished last season without a trophy – for a second campaign running – which can best be described as shameful for a team of their calibre. As always in football, when things don’t go well for the team, fingers point at the coach.
“To be honest it is not only the coach who is under pressure … the players are also under pressure because we are the ones playing on the field. The coach can only do so much.
“He is a tactician and he plans very well … but it is only us who can execute the plan and we have let him down a couple of times,” said Khune.
“The past two seasons have been a hard pill to swallow for us. It is a shame for us as players. We are all under pressure,” he added.
In SuperSport, Amakhosi face a team who have pledged to collect more trophies this season after clinching the Nedbank Cup last term. Khune however believes the new mentality in his team will see them through.
“SuperSport are a team who are very hard to beat. But we come back with fresh minds and good plans on how to start winning games and collecting trophies. We played well in our friendlies – against (Orlando) Pirates and Township Rollers.
“The approach this season is that we need to be clinical in front of goal and we have been playing well but giving away silly goals and that has to change. That is what we have been emphasising coming into the new season.”
Tomorrow’s match kicks off at 8.15pm.