Jonty Mark
Football Editor
2 minute read
17 Dec 2021
11:20 am

Chiefs’ Mashiane hopes for happier return against Royal AM

Jonty Mark

'We have to go and fight so that the same thing doesn't happen twice,' said the Chiefs left back.

Happy Mashiane has got himself back in the Chiefs starting line-up. Picture: Sydney Mahlangu/Backpagepix.

Happy Mashiane admits Kaizer Chiefs must avoid a repeat of the ’embarrassment’ they have already suffered at the hands of DStv Premiership newbies Royal AM, when the two teams meet again on Sunday at the Chatsworth Stadium in Durban.

ALSO READ: Chiefs defender hopes to make most of another lifeline at Amakhosi

Stuart Baxter’s Amakhosi were left red-faced back on September 18, when they were pummelled 4-1 at FNB Stadium by Royal AM, in the middle of a poor start to the campaign.

“It’s not good enough … and I apologise to the supporters. We’re back to the same old,” Baxter told SuperSport TV after that match, and Chiefs, indeed, won just one of their first six Premiership games of the season.

At that point it seemed little had changed, on the back of a dreadful 2020/21 league campaign that had seen Gavin Hunt sacked, and ultimately replaced by Baxter.

Chiefs, however, have recovered some form under the coach who led them to two league titles in three seasons between 2021 and 2015. Amakhosi have won six out of their last eight Premiership matches to become Mamelodi Sundowns’ closest challengers at the top of the table, albeit that they are still trailing way behind Masandawana.

“The start of the season was not nice,” admitted Chiefs left back Mashiane.

“(But) we managed to pull together and correct our wrongs. You could see people were not ok coming from that setback (of the season under Hunt).”

The 23 year-old has returned to the Chiefs starting line-up of late, playing in the 3-1 win at Moroka Swallows, before Chiefs pulled out of their next two games, because of a Covid-19 outbreak at the Amakhoso village.

Mashiane then also got a start in the 2-0 win over Sekhukhune United on December 12, as Chiefs picked up another three points despite being without several key players.

It remains to be seen who will be available for Royal AM, though the signs are that Chiefs are returning to something like full strength.

“The first game against Royal AM was … an embarrassment for us,” added Mashiane.

“We know when we are playing, we are a big team, we can’t concede four goals at home. We have to go and fight so that the same thing doesn’t happen twice.”

Royal AM, meanwhile, have stuttered again, after a superb recovery from losing their first two league games of the campaign. John Maduka’s side won four league games on the spin after that, including the massacre of Chiefs, and went eight games in total without defeat. The KZN side have, however, won just one of their last six league matches, though that has not stopped them from sitting just two points behind Chiefs in the table.