Kaizer Chiefs forward Khama Billiat has explained what has led to the team’s resurgence this season and how they have managed to become the team to beat.
Chiefs have shown an incredible turnaround from last season’s disastrous campaign in which they ended a paltry ninth position in the Absa Premiership before surrendering the Nedbank Cup title to First Division side TS Galaxy.
Many people have been surprised by the note on which Amakhosi have started the 2019/20 season, after majority called for the sacking of coach Ernst Middendorp during the off-season.
But Billiat has outlined what has paved the way for this drastic improvement under the German tactician, which sees them topping the standings with a 10-point lead.
“I really need to give credit to our defensive line; our defensive organisation is something that we have mastered very well,” explained Billiat of his side’s impressive record of having conceded just seven goals in their opening 11 games.
“That’s why we don’t concede as much as we used to, or the easy goals that we used to, but there’s still a lot of work that needs to be done.
“We just started understanding each other better as players, as well as the coach’s philosophy. It took us a bit of time, but I think we’re getting into it and we really look like a team right now.
“We are a unit; we are united, and when you’re in a good space then everything just starts flowing very nicely.”
The discipline in defence is in fact not only in the back five – including the goalkeeper – but in the entire team’s efforts to track back in transition, and the Zimbabwean has admitted it’s something they didn’t quite understand the value in when Middendorp first arrived.
“I think it’s one thing we didn’t get right when the coach arrived, and we never really knew our roles or how to set up in certain moments,” he added.
“We’re starting to understand him better now, and things we thought were difficult for us have become so easy, and it’s through hard work and paying attention to details.
“So, everything seems to be working for us and we just hope that it will continue for quite a long time.”