Cape Town – Chippa United need to work on the mindsets of their players, according to newly-appointed coach Wilfred Mugeyi.
They sat back in the second half during their crucial victory over Black Leopards at Philippi Stadium on Sunday.
The 3-1 win lifted the Premiership rookies out of the relegation zone into 14th spot, ahead of AmaZulu and Ajax Cape Town on goal difference.
Having endured a tough first season in the top flight, Chippa appeared to be more concerned about a possible Leopards comeback in the second half, after the hosts led 2-0 at the break, rather than trying to put the outcome of the match beyond doubt.
“Our game plan worked very well in the first half and we managed to score two goals, but when we came back for the second half, I think we dropped our performance a bit and we allowed them to come at us,” Mugeyi said.
“I think its because my boys were scared to lose. They wanted to defend those two goals.
“Fortunately, we got the third goal, which made things easier for us.”
Leopards' coach Abel Makhubela was left to lament a weak showing in defence, a problem the Limpopo side have had all season, letting in 29 goals in 18 games.
They settled in 13th position in the league standings, one point ahead of Chippa.
“We played well on attack, but defensively there were a lot of problems,” Makhubela said.
“You know every time when the ball came into the box we looked a bit soft on them.
“They (the Chippa strikers) could control the ball with ease, without any aggression on the player.”
Makhubela said his charges would need to fortify themselves at the back if they hoped to climb the ladder.
“At this level you cannot allow such simple goals.
“Generally. the team imposed themselves well, but defensively we still have a lot to do. We’re unsure and too soft on the opposition strikers.”
In other league games at the weekend, Kaizer Chiefs hit back from a goal down to beat Free State Stars 2-1 at FNB Stadium on Saturday, reclaiming the top spot in the table.
Strugglers AmaZulu earned valuable points with a 1-0 win over Golden Arrows in their derby clash in Umlazi; high-flying Platinum Stars continued their run of form with a 3-0 victory over Ajax Cape Town in Phokeng, to remain third in the standings; and Bloemfontein Celtic defeated Wits 3-0 at Free State Stadium.
On Friday night, Mamelodi Sundowns ran out 3-0 victors over Maritzburg United in Port Elizabeth. –Sapa