Shabba: I was in the dark as well
Posted: 19 July 2018 Time: 08:00
Kaizer Chiefs midfielder Siphiwe Tshabalala has conceded that the players were heedful of speculation as to who the new coach would be, but says the revelation never came as a surprise.
Chiefs last week appointed Giovanni Solinas as the new first team coach, following massive speculation over the course of three months since the departure of Steve Komphela in April.
Since his introduction to the players last Friday evening, the Italian tactician has had just a few days to work with the players and existing technical team, but Tshabalala says the reception has been positive thus far and has rallied the troops in support of the coach.
“He was well received by the players, and obviously we know what is at stake. The mere fact that the club brought him here shows the quality and knowledge that he has,” said ‘Shabba’.
“For us as players we need to respect that and we need to help him as well so that he can bring success to the club, he cannot do it alone. So, players need to come to the party.”
With the likes of Stuart Baxter, Patrice Carteron, Hossam El-Badry, Luc Eymael and Nikola Kavazovic amongst the names tipped for the Amakhosi hotseat, the unveiling of the former Free State Stars and ES Setif coach came as somewhat of a surprise to many.
However, the veteran Bafana Bafana winger insists that his expectations were too broad to be caught off guard by the eventual appointment, as he too followed the speculation after not being able to sniff out the likely candidate.
“Most, if not all, of us kept asking ourselves, ‘Who is going to be in charge? Do you think it’s so-and-so; do you think it’s so-and-so?’
“Until they made the announcement, that’s when we knew that he’s our boss and he’s going to be working with us.
“Personally, I told myself that, whoever comes in I’ll respect them and I’ll continue doing my job, and I’ll also do my part in terms of helping the coach as well.
“I wouldn’t say it was a surprise because I was expecting anyone. I was in the dark as well, even my sources couldn’t tell me [who the new coach would be],” he concluded.
Solinas is set to miss this weekend’s Shell Helix Ultra Cup as he still awaits his work permit, leaving assistant coach Patrick Mabedi to take charge of the side as he did in the Bokone Bophirima Maize Cup last weekend.