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By Sibongiseni Gumbi

Football Writer

Solinas eyes MTN8 title

Solinas knows how important it is to beat Free State Stars tonight at FNB Stadium and advance to the semi-finals of the MTN8.

Kaizer Chiefs coach Giovanni Solinas knows he needs time to get the team to play the way he wants but also understands that it is a luxury he can only wish for as supporters expect immediate change in fortunes following a three-year barren spell.

Solinas knows that beating Free State Stars tonight at FNB Stadium to advance to the semi-finals of the MTN8 and going on to win it could buy him the time he needs but is also aware that it is a very difficult task.

At a big team like Amakhosi there is a very thin line between becoming a here or villain.

Winning just four games in the Wafa-Wafa could see the Italian mentor being hailed as a saviour at Amakhosi. A bad run could lead to more pressure on his team.

“This is our opportunity because the road to winning this cup is short,” admitted Solinas.

“But it is short for everyone as well and everyone will want to win it. But we need the trophy. It is a short but difficult road. These are teams who qualified for the top eight last season,” added the 57-year-old Italian.

“Three years without a trophy at Chiefs is a big problem. But we talked about this. We said we will try and solve it together. We asked ourselves why three seasons without a trophy? Where are the problems? Where do we need to improve? How do we fix it? We must solve it because this season the club needs a trophy,” he said.

Solinas said his team will have to manage the pressure and look at it in a positive way to avoid allowing it to be a hindrance in their campaign.

“Every coach, every player who is here needs to understand and accept the pressure. There is big expectation from the fans. We need to manage the pressure. If you let it worry you, it becomes a problem. We need to use it as motivation.”

Amakhosi are up against it tonight as the Bethlehem based side have troubled them in cup games over the past few years. It was a defeat to Ea Lla Koto which led to the ugly scenes at Moses Mabhida Stadium in May which also ended former mentor Steve Komphela’s era at the Glamour Boys.

“I am grateful to Stars and the Mokoena family for having given me a chance. This will be a special game to me. Unfortunately it is a tough game because Stars are a good team, strong physically and have a fighting spirit.

“(But) The playing idea is always the same. Be it a home game, away game, league or cup game. The Approach should be the same. We have to try and dominate and win the game,” said Solinas.

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