SuperSport United's Phala reveals chairman Sibiya tongue-lashing
Posted: 17 July 2015 Time: 12:10
SuperSport United winger Thuso Phala has revealed to KickOff.com how the chairman of the club Khulu Sibiya’s harsh words led to him rediscovering his form after a poor start to their 2014/15 campaign.
Phala is settled now after signing a four-year contract extension as well as being named Matsatsantsa a Pitori’s 2014/15 Player of the Season, but discloses that things weren’t rosy earlier in the season.
Under their previous coach, Cavin Johnson, SuperSport United lost three of their first four League matches and got knocked out of the MTN8 after losing 2-1 to Orlando Pirates in the quarterfinals.
Phala says Sibiya was hopping mad and explains why the boss targeted him.
“When things were not going well for the team I was the one player who got the tongue-lashing at the meeting, the chairman didn't hide it [dissatisfaction] but I took it as a man because he expected a lot from me and I knew he believed in me. He wasn't just shouting because I'm a bad player.
“I went back to the guys to say we need to get results and the senior players came together and we picked up the team,” says Phala, who helped change the team’s fortunes around as they went on to win the Telkom Knockout after beating Platinum Stars 3-2 in the Final and finish sixth on the log.
Phala expects the Tshwane side to have a better season in 2015/16.
“I’ve won all the trophies and it's only the League that's left. I've sat down with the coach and I think we must go for the League. We're not making it a secret and saying we want to finish in the top eight. No, we're challenging for the League. With the quality we have it is possible, the players must believe and we just work hard and challenge,” he says.
Meanwhile, the 29-year-old says he’s grateful to his mom for helping him bounce back after disappointing spells at Kaizer Chiefs and Mamelodi Sundowns.
He explains: “It [move to Chiefs] did come early. If you are 20 years old and playing for Chiefs coming from Soweto there is pressure because wherever you go around, you're well known. Those things happen for a reason and I'm grateful [for the experience] I think I am where I'm at now because I went to Chiefs and Sundowns. I had to go through that to be here.
“It was difficult. I'm lucky because my mom was there for me. At Sundowns I was training alone for like six months. I stayed at home with my mom and she kept on telling me I will play for Bafana Bafana and I didn't believe it until it happened a couple of years ago. I'm grateful to her.”