Cautious SuperSport coach Kaitano Tembo will not be drawn into title contention talk

02 March 2020 - 13:38 By MARK GLEESON
Onismor Bhasera of Supersport United and Macclive Phiri of Bidvest Wits during the Absa Premiership match between the two sides.
Onismor Bhasera of Supersport United and Macclive Phiri of Bidvest Wits during the Absa Premiership match between the two sides.
Image: Dirk Kotze/Gallo Images

SuperSport United remain mathematically in the league title race and if they win their remaining seven games will finish on 59 points, the same number of points Mamelodi Sundowns amassed as they won last season’s championship.

But coach Kaitano Tembo is not talking about the title, even after his side beat fellow contenders Bidvest Wits at the weekend in a morale-boosting success.

Instead Tembo says SuperSport just want to improve on last season’s sixth place finish.

“That’s how I see it," he said.

"For me if you are building you need to see improvement. Last season we finished sixth and got to the MTN8 final and lost.

“This season, we’ve already won the MTN8, so if we finish higher than last season, that’s progress.”

Saturday’s victory came as some relief to Tembo after the last three league games had all ended in 0-1 defeats.

“We are coming out of a very difficult phase after losing games. The only thing I could do was keep encouraging the guys, it wasn’t really about performance.

“We were creating opportunities but not scoring goals. I knew that it would turn around and we have now managed to dig ourselves out of that.

"We can start to focus on the rest of our programme, game-by-game and see where it takes us.

“But this time of the season is very tough. There are no easy games and when you look at our recent defeats, we lost to Stellenbosch and Golden Arrows.

"Those were teams below us, so you got to give respect to all the teams in the league because at this juncture of the season, it’s dog eat dog.

“Team are fighting relegation, teams are fighting to get into the top eight. Nothing is easy.

"We have to give our next opponent the respect they deserve and focus properly. That’s why I’m saying we have to take it one game at a time.”

The next assignment for SuperSport is away in Tembisa on Sunday against Highlands Park.


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