Johannesburg – Kaizer Chiefs players are under immense pressure and have vowed to win three titles as the PSL season begins to wind up.
“It's a tough, gruelling challenge that we face, but I believe the players are ready to take it on,” coach Stuart Baxter said on Thursday.
He was speaking after his team's largely uninspiring 2-0 victory over Polokwane City at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on Wednesday night.
With Chiefs bidding to retain their Premier League title, as well as the Nedbank Cup, Baxter says it was essential to “view one game at a time”.
“Looking ahead and concentrating on what could lie ahead can only be distracting and costly.”
The team is also beginning its campaign in Caf's Confederation Cup against Ivory Coast's ASEC Mimosa on Sunday.
Mimosa is as formidable as DRC club AS Vita in Baxter's view. AS Vita recently eliminated the Amakhosi from the more prestigious Caf Champions League.
“The trip to the Ivory Coast for the second leg is going to be a supreme test, that is why it will be essential to stamp our authority during the home leg of the tie.”
Despite indifferent form, Chiefs were never seriously challenged by Polokwane City after George Lebese opened the score in the eighth minute.
And former SuperSport United midfielder George Maluleka sealed the issue with Chiefs' second goal in the 72nd minute, with a swerving, deflected shot that gave City goalkeeper Modiro Marumo no chance.
It was Maluleka's first goal since joining the Amakhosi and he celebrated with an elaborate victory dance afterwards.
Maluleka said the goal was a great boost for his morale and confidence.
“I'm only beginning to settle down at Chiefs,” he added.
“My best with the club is still to come.”
The victory left Chiefs in second spot in the Premier League table, trailing log leaders Mamelodi Sundowns by three points.
With a game in hand and the growing prospect that goal difference and even goals scored could ultimately decide the destination of the PSL championship.
Sundowns and Chiefs are now level on goal-difference after Sundowns 1-0 win over Black Aces, but Sundowns have scored eight more goals than the Amakhosi.
At the other end of the log table, the Polokwane team sunk deeper into the relegation mire.
Their rivals to make the drop to the National First Division, Free State Stars, came away with a victory over Pretoria University on Wednesday.
With Golden Arrows seemingly doomed to relegation at the bottom of the log, Polokwane and Free State Stars are on equal points in the battle to avoid the relegation-promotion play-offs.
Polokwane coach Boebie Solomons said he remained confident his side would not make a speedy return to the National First Division.
“Losing against a team of Chiefs' calibre is no disgrace and we gave away the two goals through careless defensive errors,” Solomons said. – Sapa