Golden Arrows' Mandla Ncikazi defends under-fire Kaizer Chiefs coach Steve Komphela
Posted: 8 March 2018 Time: 10:00
Golden Arrows assistant coach Mandla Ncikazi says some critics of Kaizer Chiefs mentor Steve Komphela tend to go "overboard".
Ncikazi previously worked with the Amakhosi boss at Free State Stars and Maritzburg United before Komphela moved to Naturena to replace Stuart Baxter ahead of the 2015/16 campaign.
Ncikazi then had a brief run as Maritzburg head coach prior to linking up with Arrows to assist Clinton Larsen in December 2015.
Komphela has endured his fair share of abuse from the stands during his reign at Chiefs given the Soweto giants' lack of silverware.
He came close to delivering honours in his first season as the side reached the MTN8 and Telkom Knockout finals, but has seldom enjoyed widespread support from the masses.
The pressure intensified on Komphela, whose contract expires in June, after Chiefs' Soweto Derby loss to Orlando Pirates dented their league title aspirations.
Ncikazi has sympathy for his friend, who he says understands where the fans are coming from but is human after all.
“That guy [Komphela] is a very strong human being, the strongest that I’ve ever seen,” Ncikazi tells KickOff.com.
“I spoke to him yesterday... and he’s human but I think he understands the frustration. I don’t think he takes it in the way the supporters are sending it to him. He understands the frustrations that they want to win, because it is a winning team.
“Sadly I think sometimes others go overboard but I think that is part of the game. If he can start winning I think they’ll leave him alone.
“The game of football, you just have to win irrespective of the situation you are in. You just have to win. Whether you are playing with seven players supporters expect us to win.
“He hasn’t won a cup in the period he has been there which frustrates the supporters. I understand their frustration but sometimes South Africans, they celebrate somebody’s pain.”
Coaches Eric Tinkler and Teboho Moloi lost their jobs last week at SuperSport United and Chippa United respectively. Ncikazi acccepts he operates in a ruthless, results-driven industry.
“Unfortunately it is part of the job; there’s fellow coaches that have lost their jobs and I’ll also lose my job here at Arrows at some point,” he adds.
“Teboho Moloi has lost a job, Eric Tinkler has lost the job at SuperSport United... it is part of the game unfortunately.
“The game is determined by the results. If it comes to Steve at some point I think we’ll understand that the results have not been coming the way that were expected, they didn’t meet the obligations of the club that were put in front of him.
“He’ll walk but I’m sure he’ll get another job elsewhere. I strongly believe he’s a good coach.”
Chiefs, who trail log leaders Mamelodi Sundowns by eight points with seven games left, next face Stellenbosch FC in the last-16 of the Nedbank Cup at Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday night.