The 51-year-old Italian will guide Chiefs against Black Leopards as they start their second attempt at silverware under his mentorship in the Telkom Knockout next weekend.
He will then immediately have to switch focus back to the Absa Premiership as he prepares for what could be a bruising battle against old rivals Orlando Pirates in the Soweto derby a week later on October 27. But this doesn’t faze Solinas who believes all games are the same in terms of importance and difficulty.
“Every game is a big game for me. I prepare for every game in the same manner because for me it makes no difference whether we play Pirates or Leopards. I don’t look at the club’s name. I don’t underestimate any team. Every game is difficult and every game is important,” he said.
Amakhosi have not had any joy with trophies in the past three seasons and the Telkom Knockout is a good opportunity for Solinas to endear himself to the club’s supporters and also silence his doubters once and for all.
“The opponents are very good. We will try to fight for the trophy. It will not be easy. If you check the results in the league they are balanced. It is always close, 1-0 or 2-1. What does this mean? It means every game is difficult and you need to prepare well for each game. Never underestimate the opponents because every team can beat you, and you can also beat anyone. That is how it is.
“I have big respect for Leopards. They are a good team who play good football. I will prepare very well for the game because it is a dangerous game,” explained Solinas.
He said he will use the break to sharpen up his side who have lost the scoring form they showcased in September, when they scored eight goals.
“I think the break will help. When you have time for exercises, drills and training sessions you can improve. This break is good for us.”
Solinas downplayed the importance of the Soweto derby in terms of his coaching career and said it is just another game. But he will know at the back of his mind that it is one game that can be bruising for his side should they not perform well and get a positive result.