Cardoso: Players must take blame

In a season filled with personal improvement following an injury-ravaged first year at Naturena, Cardoso feels Amakhosi only have themselves to blame as they closed off a second season in a row without silverware.

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“Conceding silly goals is the defence,” he said in his retrospect of what went wrong.

“Then, also not taking the opportunities to score so it is at both ends of the field [that Chiefs must improve] but we only have ourselves to blame.

“This has nothing to do with the coach, it is us as players that have to take the blame.

“It [the trophyless season] has affected us a bit because this is the second season in which we haven’t won anything. It is not normal for us but we only have ourselves to blame for this because we dropped too many points and drew too many games once again. Next season we have to pick ourselves up,” said Cardoso.

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Such was the ease with which Chiefs lost their grip on their Absa Premiership challenge that they took just two points from a possible 15 from their last five league games, conceding late goals three games in a row.

Cardoso continued: “It is a lack of concentration because towards the dying minutes of the game you have to be switched on at all times. At the back, we weren’t awake and guys weren’t prepared to hold on for 1-0 wins and I think it was in the last three or so games that we could have won but conceded in the last minute. So we’ve got to learn from that and take it into the next season and pick up from there.

“With the defenders, it was a lapse of concentration and also shuffling at the back so many times will cost you because you have to get used to a new centre-back pairing just like you need to get used to the right-back and left-back. I think next season it will be a lot more different.”

The former Free State Stars defender added that watching Bidvest Wits being handed the league title on Saturday will be a bitter pill to swallow.

Chiefs host the newly-crowned champions at FNB Stadium in the final league game of the campaign.

“It has been a tough at training, especially knowing that we are going to be handing over the trophy to Wits at our home ground. So it is a bitter pill to swallow but we’ve got to go out there and win it for ourselves and the fans,” he concluded.

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