SuperSport coach Tembo: Keeping Grobler fit is part of striker's white-hot form

07 January 2021 - 13:16 By Marc Strydom
Bradley Grobler of SuperSport United during the first leg of the MTN8 semifinal against Bloemfontein Celtic at Lucas Moripe Stadium on November 1 2020 in Pretoria.
Bradley Grobler of SuperSport United during the first leg of the MTN8 semifinal against Bloemfontein Celtic at Lucas Moripe Stadium on November 1 2020 in Pretoria.
Image: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix/Gallo Images

SuperSport United coach Kaitano Tembo says keeping Bradley Grobler fit to play has been a large part of the striker’s white-hot form in 2020-21.

Grobler’s superb headed goal over goalkeeper Ayanda Mtshali in SuperSport’s 2-2 draw against Chippa United at Lucas Moripe Stadium on Wednesday took the Bafana Bafana forward to eight goals in eight games‚ one more than a group of three players on seven strikes.

The goal had class written all over it — with his back to goal Grobler leant down to Grant Kekana’s chip in from right midfield and directed the ball at goal. It showed a striker’s predatory awareness of where the goal-frame was.

Had he not been injury-plagued‚ Grobler could have scored many more than his 56 career PSL goals for Platinum Stars‚ Ajax Cape Town and SuperSport.

“Bradley has really done well. We’ve really managed him as a collective. The conditioning team have really done a good job on him‚” Tembo said after a draw his classy SuperSport would have felt they should have won‚ fighting back from a goal down to 2-1‚ but conceding again with three minutes remaining.

“That’s why he’s always available‚ and he’s playing with no pain. We know that he’s a quality striker — he’s good technically and one of the best finishers in the league. And he has proven that time and time again.

“We are happy that he scores goals. But I am very demanding as well to the rest of the team that they also chip in. Thamsanqa Gabuza is also doing that — he scored his second goal in two games.

“Sipho Mbule needs to score more‚ as well as ‘Tebza’. They should chip in six or seven goals a season‚ as well as the other attacking players like Ghampani Lungu and Kuda Mahachi‚ who haven’t scored this season.

“They have got to chip in and create a good balance in terms of our attacking options. But I’m happy with Bradley’s contribution — he’s really done well for the team.”

SuperSport put in the hard work in offence earning Grobler’s 47th-minute equaliser and Gabuza’s 82nd-minute second‚ but conceded Maloisane Mokhele’s 87th-minute strike for a share of the spoils.

Not surprisingly‚ given Grobler’s form‚ Matsatsantsa have scored freely‚ notching nine goals in four games. But their penchant for conceding a few too many (five in eight)‚ and some post-Christmas break rustiness‚ denied them a fourth straight win against Chippa.

“I think that scoring goals also makes us win games. And I’m very pleased that we are a more attack-minded team‚” Tembo said.

“At the same time defensively we have been really lacking with the goals we give away. If you look at the two goals we conceded today we could have done better.

“But we are still finding the balance defensively and in attack. At the moment we have got Grant [Kekana] who is playing at the back and is more senior‚ as well as Luke Fleurs who’s the youngster‚ and we expect them to make mistakes and still grow from that.”

Third-placed SuperSport meet 11th-positioned TS Galaxy at Mbombela Stadium on Saturday.