Itumeleng Khune makes promises to success-starved Kaizer Chiefs fans
Encouragingly for Kaizer Chiefs fans‚ their team’s captain and superstar goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune has promised a new approach from a fresh Amakhosi this season.
Perhaps less encouragingly‚ Khune did not want to elaborate on exactly what that new approach was.
Supporters of the country’s biggest club might be forgiven for expecting more of the same from a mediocre two seasons without a trophy under coach Steve Komphela‚ finishing fifth and fourth in the league.
Khune‚ though‚ was adamant that the Chiefs who will be on view in their first competitive match in Saturday’s MTN8 quarterfinal against SuperSport United at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban (8.15 pm) will be a far tighter outfit all-round.
“We leave tomorrow for Durban‚ and look forward to hosting SuperSport United‚ who are a very tough team to beat‚” the Bafana Bafana goalkeeper said in an MTN8 press conference at the PSL’s offices on Thursday.
“But this season we come back with fresh minds and a good plan on how to start winning games and start winning trophies.
“It’s going to be a tough one but we’re ready for it.”
Khune was pressed on Chiefs’ new approach‚ and what will make the difference from their past two seasons‚ the underachievement from which will put Komphela under pressure from word go in 2017-18.
“To be honest it’s not only the coach who is under pressure. It’s also us on the field‚” the keeper said.
“The coach can only do so much‚ and he’s a tactician when it comes to planning. It’s us who have to go on the field and execute the plan‚ which we’ve let him down on a few times.
“We just need to be clinical in front of goal‚ stop giving away silly goals and giving away matches‚ and everything will go back to normal.
“Yes‚ the past two seasons have been a terrible pill to swallow. For most of us‚ having played for Chiefs for so long‚ having gone two seasons without a medal is a shame to us as players.
“But we (the players) are the ones who put ourselves in this position‚ and we have to take ourselves out.”
Asked to elaborate on how the approach has changed at Chiefs’ headquarters at Naturena‚ Khune replied: “I couldn’t give away much about what’s happening indoors. I can only share with you that players are more energised than last season.
“At the end of last season everyone’s heads were down and we felt like we all didn’t deserve to play for a club like Chiefs.
“And now we’ve all come back with fresh minds knowing very well what is expected.
“In two days’ time we’re playing a very tough match against tough opposition. We know SuperSport beat us in a penalty shootout last season‚ and we played to two draws in the league.
“So we can match them. But we just have to be on a whole different level on Saturday‚ because they are hungry for success‚ and we have to be hungrier than them.”
Chiefs drew 1-1 at home and 2-2 away against SuperSport in the league last season‚ and lost 5-3 on penalties after a 1-1 extra-time score in the Nedbank Cup quarterfinals.