Kaizer Chiefs coach Steve Komphela backed defence to hold against Cape Town City
Posted: 14 September 2017 Time: 16:45
Kaizer Chiefs coach Steve Komphela had faith his defence would get the job done against Cape Town City on Wednesday night despite the absence of key personnel.
Chiefs were minus suspended Bafana Bafana centre-back Erick Mathoho and experienced fullbacks Ramahlwe Mphahlele and Tsepo Masilela through injury for the league tie at Cape Town Stadium.
However, Daniel Cardoso, Kgotso Moleko and new signing Philani Zulu held their own alongside regular defensive starter Lorenzo Gordinho as goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune collected a clean sheet on his return from illness.
"We always knew, given a chance, they would be at this level," Komphela told reporters after the 2-0 victory over the Citizens, which lifted the Soweto giants to ninth in the Premiership standings with four points from three games.
"The way we train, you always give an opportunity to players that if anything happens to A, B and C must be equally ready. But the most important is understanding, accepting and taking up the roles and responsibility in a manner that even the previous one would have.
"But it changed a bit because the kind of player you have in [Bhongolwethu] Jayiya is not the kind of player you have in [William] Twala, is not the kind of player you have in [Hendrick Ekstein] 'Pule'. There was a slight tweak on our game model, obviously influenced by personnel.
"One thing we gave respect to was we know we only have four defenders - Moleko, Philani Zulu, Cardoso and Gordinho - and you don't want anything to happen to them. And you are gonna be playing matches one after the other, so we need to protect them in a way. So I thought the protection of the midfield was okay, even though there were instances where we lacked moves and Cape Town City got behind us.
"But I thought the ones chosen on the day did us proud, and for the seven [also includes Sibusiso Khumalo, Ryan Moon, Teenage Hadebe and Emmanuel Letlotlo] who we will be without for two to nine months, they will come back and take over when they return from injuries."
The Glamour Boys next entertain misfiring champions Bidvest Wits. Gavin Hunt's charges are yet to win in regulation time at six attempts, most recently going down 3-1 to Golden Arrows at home in midweek.
Komphela is wary of a Clever Boys backlash at FNB Stadium on Saturday.
"It's very bad, very bad [timing]. I can imagine what Gavin is saying in the dressing room, and knowing Gavin he is not the one to bring you roses, he says his stuff. It's bad timing, but that is the Absa Premiership."