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Chippa United coach Dan Malesela has turned his attention to PSL survival

Posted: 21 May 2017 Time: 18:26

Chippa United coach Dan Malesela has set his sights on the final league clash of the season at Free State Stars on Saturday after losing to SuperSport United in the Nedbank Cup semifinals. 

The Chilli Boys were in the semifinals of the competition for the first time in their history and frustrated SuperSport for large parts of the encounter before being edged 4-2 in a penalty shoot-out after the game ended in a goalless draw.

Chippa must get a win at Stars to secure their top-flight status for next season, while a draw could be enough if other results go their way.

Both clubs have 27 points from 29 games, though Chippa have a better goal-difference, while behind them are Highlands Park (26 points), who host Mamelodi Sundowns, and Baroka FC (25), who are at top-eight chasing Ajax Cape Town.

Malesela, who returned from what was termed as 'special leave' by the club last week, says he'll give his players a few days off to recharge their batteries before preparing for the game against Serame Letsoaka's side.

"That game is very crucial and I don't want to say this game [against SuperSport] is a blessing in disguise – there's no blessing when you've lost," Malesela said.

"But we've time to prepare the game, we've time to rest, and probably give players off until Tuesday and then we'll start preparing for Free State Stars.

"But I'm little bit disappointed [losing to SuperSport] and I had high hopes that we'll reach the final with what we were doing this week with preparations.

“The mood in the camp was good ahead of the game but I'm just a bit disappointed. But I'm not disappointed with what the players did. I’m quite pleased with how they fought, how they played."

Chippa defeated SuperSport 3-0 in the league last Wednesday and kept the same side, but could not find the same accuracy in their performance in the Nedbank Cup. He feels SuperSport, who did make a number of changes after resting key players, could have been at an advantage.

"It could be an advantage and sometimes not," he added. "Because you've these players who are inactive and if they'd played us they would've understood how to adjust. Sometimes it could help because they are well rested.

"For me it depends on how we handled ourselves. Look at this, if we played SuperSport and we were playing a different team today, we wouldn't say the same thing we are saying.

"For me, I said to the boys: 'We are playing another team, forget it, it's SuperSport One and SuperSport Two, so today we are playing SuperSport Two'."

The game against Stars will take place at Goble Park with all final round league matches taking place at 15h00.

Article by: Robin-Duke Madlala
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