Castro questions Kaizer Chiefs coach Solinas’s tactics

30 August 2018 - 14:55 By Marc Strydom
Leonardo Castro of Kaizer Chiefs during the MTN8 Semi Final 2nd Lego Media Day on the 30 August 2018 at Kaizer Chiefs Village.
Leonardo Castro of Kaizer Chiefs during the MTN8 Semi Final 2nd Lego Media Day on the 30 August 2018 at Kaizer Chiefs Village.
Image: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

Striker Leonardo Castro has questioned the tactics of his Kaizer Chiefs coach‚ Giovanni Solinas‚ in employing the high press even when Amakhosi had a 2-0 lead against Bloemfontein Celtic on Wednesday night.

Castro suggested that bringing on a defensive midfielder at 2-0 in the Absa Premiership game at FNB Stadium‚ where Chiefs were cruising to victory before conceding 76th and 79th minute goals‚ instead of a winger might have been more advisable for Solinas.

Asked about Chiefs spurning a 2-0 lead‚ Castro shook his head and breathed: “Hey man.”

He said: “Really‚ I feel frustrated up until now.

“Because we are leading the game. So we are supposed to also read the game and close the game.

“But sometimes this part is the part of the coach‚ who needs to help us also.

“So‚ as the players‚ we know inside [the field] what is happening. We try.

“As the end of the day I just say that we can’t concede goals like that. Because they are stupid goals.

“The previous game also‚ we made mistakes. The same situations‚ the same goals.

“We need to be more focused on our defensive job. Because they [the opponents] can’t draw the game like this.”

It was the second game where Chiefs looked attractive and impressive in attack – taking the lead through strikes by Khama Billiat (37th minute) and Kgotso Malope (64th) – but were let down by defensive lapses to concede to Menzi Masuku and Ndumiso Mabena.

Drawing the first leg of their the MTN8 semifinal against SuperSport United 2-2 in Atteridgeville on Sunday Chiefs also looked good going forward‚ but seemed to struggle with the balance of not leaving themselves exposed at the back by a high-pressing gameplan.

Castro said he thinks Chiefs need to be more observant‚ and choose the right time to press.

“We also as the forwards need to wait‚ we need to see what is the moment to press high‚” the Colombian striker said.

“Because we can’t press so high all the time in the game. We need to learn about this‚ and be focused in the next game.”

Chiefs should have earned their first league win of the season against Celtic. Instead they suffered a fourth draw of the season‚ with a defeat completing their five PSL games.

Castro said an introduction of a defence-minded midfielder at 2-0 up‚ instead of a winger for a winger in Bongolethu Jayiya for Malope moments after the second goal‚ and a closing up of the shop might have served Amakhosi better.

“We were leading the game 2-0. So if we closed the game‚ put in a midfielder like [Wiseman] Meyiwa‚ maybe it would also give [Siphelele] Ntshangase time to recover for the next game. Maybe that could work.

“Maybe I’m wrong or I’m right. But we need to try something different because sometimes when you play two days in row‚ or three games in a row‚ you get tired.

“We are human beings so we need to have on the field some players who can refresh the team to help us.”

Chiefs meet SuperSport in the MTN8 semi second leg at FNB Stadium on Saturday night (kickoff 8.15pm).