Chippa United confident of beating Kaizer Chiefs
Chippa United coach Clinton Larsen maintains a potential relegation-playoff scenario is the last thing on his mind ahead of the critical Absa Premiership league fixture against Kaizer Chiefs at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Saturday (3pm).
As the season draws to a close‚ the fight to retain their status will go right down to the wire for the Chilli Boys as they host Chiefs in a much-anticipated clash.
After a hard-fought 3-1 win over Polokwane City in their most recent fixture‚ Larsen is convinced his troops have enough to beat Chiefs on Saturday.
“The playoff spot is not at the back of my mind‚” said Larsen after he was asked if he had been thinking about it lately.
“We are confident of getting a positive result against Chiefs‚ so we are not even considering playoffs. Such is the confidence within the group and management we are not even entertaining those thoughts.
“We know we have got enough to get the job done by ourselves and not look for favours from anybody else.
“For us it’s basically to replicate what we did against Polokwane last weekend.
"It was an important game and the players showed that they have got the temperament and focus to get the business done at this very sensitive stage of the league.
“We were very happy last week with how the players executed our game plan and the discipline that they have shown on the field‚ in particular‚ defensively .
“In previous games that wall has been our Achilles heel. Some of the goals that we have conceded have been very soft goals.
“So we worked very hard defensively to make sure that we have tightened up at the back and tried to eliminate defensive blunders and mistakes.
“We know that we are a team that can score. I think from January we have been proving that scoring is not a problem. We have an abundance of attacking talent in the team."
The Chilli Boys are not the only ones in the relegation battle as Baroka‚ Free State Stars‚ Black Leopards and Maritzburg United will also be fighting survival at the weekend.
After the win against the Rise and Shine‚ Chippa moved from second from bottom of the log to 13th position.
Larsen said his troops are aware of how important Saturday’s fixture is.
“We are better off than the other three at this stage‚" he said.
"If the league were to end today we would be above three other teams and that is the way we want to keep it.
“So we have too make sure that we get a positive result.”
The coach welcomes back defender Frederic Nsabiyumva from injury and Boikanye Komane from suspension.
Andile Mbenyane and Thabo Rakhale will have a late fitness test on Friday to determine if they are fit for Saturday match.
All four players missed the Polokwane game.