Difficult for Chiefs to keep focus ahead of derby‚ Mphahlele admits

03 March 2018 - 11:53 By Marc Strydom
Ramahlwe Mphahlele of Kaizer Chiefs.
Ramahlwe Mphahlele of Kaizer Chiefs.
Image: Charle Lombard/Gallo Images

Kaizer Chiefs defender Ramahlwe Mphahlele says it has been difficult keeping some players’ minds on games leading up to Saturday’s Soweto derby against Orlando Pirates at FNB Stadium (kickoff: 3.30pm).

Mphahlele‚ describing the atmosphere at Chiefs’ Naturena headquarters ahead of the biggest match on the domestic calendar‚ said maintaining focus on games such as Amakhosi’s 0-0 draw against Bloemfontein Celtic at FNB on Saturday‚ had been a challenge.

“For me it’s a very difficult week. Last week we were preparing for Celtic and one of the players said‚ ‘Eish‚ next week’s the derby’‚” Bafana Bafana defender Mphahlele said.

“And I said to him‚ the derby has three points‚ the same as the Celtic game. So can we focus on the Celtic game‚ and if we do get maximum points it will be a good feeling for the derby.

“So it’s very difficult in the week before the derby because everybody is excited. People suddenly come out from injuries and say‚ ‘Coach‚ I want to play’. So it’s difficult for my coach (Steve Komphela) also.

“We cannot take away the fact that it’s a big game.”

Third-placed Chiefs are unbeaten in 10 matches. Second-placed Pirates have won three‚ drawn one and lost one of their last five.