Sali buoyed by Malesela return

Coach Malesela was placed on 'special leave' at the Chilli Boys following a poor run of results, which continued with three defeats under caretaker boss Mbuyiselo Sambu.

However, Malesela was brought back ahead of the 3-0 league win over SuperSport United and the recent loss on penalties to Matsatsantsa in the Nedbank Cup semi-finals.

Chippa will end their campaign against fellow strugglers Free State Stars at Goble Park on Saturday, with both sides on 27 points - a point ahead of Highlands Park and two more than bottom-placed Baroka.

“We showed on Saturday that we deserve to be higher up on the league table,” Sali told his club's website. “We must take the same fighting spirit we showed in both games against SuperSport United to Free State.

“The result against SuperSport United going to the last game of the season lifted the morale in the team. It was also good to have coach [Malesela] back in the dugout.”

Meanwhile, the 27-year-old revealed he will start his rehabilitation in a fortnight after sustaining an injury in mid-April following a challenge from Kaizer Chiefs defender Lorenzo Gordinho.

“I am making progress. I will start with rehabilitation in two weeks’ time when the plaster is removed. I miss football already, and I cannot wait to come back on the pitch next season and pick up where I left off.

“I am grateful for the messages I have been getting from everyone. My teammates and everyone at the club has been supportive.

“The fans have been brilliant even though at times I have had to answer questions about what has been happening at the club.”