Johannesburg - Kaizer Chiefs may be on their best run of form in months, but head coach Steve Komphela has cautioned his players about getting overconfident.
Amakhosi have just won four consecutive games, ending a nightmare run which had seen them claiming only one win in 15 competitive games stretching back to last season.
Having failed to make any big-name signings in the off-season, the pressure had been mounting daily on Komphela, who says it's important to maintain an emotional balance during times good and bad.
“If I were in politics I would steal from the statements of Hillary Clinton, regarding temperament of her counterpart,” an ever philosophical Komphela said.
“You need to have the temperament, it's not an easy environment, you must understand the challenges lying ahead, then you can cope with ease and deal with the pressure.
“The wins should not make you feel like now you need to fly, in as much as you celebrate. The losses as well, you cannot become an ostrich where you stick your head in the sand. You can't hide; that's why you need to come up because you have to inspire the players.”
Out to cut short the Soweto giants' revival are Maritzburg United, Komphela's former club, who visit the FNB Stadium on Saturday night for a Telkom Knockout opening round fixture.
There will be no league points up for grabs and no second leg game - it's all or nothing in the TKO, and for this reason, Komphela feels his side's winning form of late won't count for much.
He's also expecting Maritzburg to come out all guns blazing after they lost a league fixture 0-2 to Amakhosi at the FNB Stadium just last month. “Form is something that inspires you, but it's a different competition, it's a once off thing,” said the former Bafana Bafana central defender.
“A victory can be very deceptive - you might think everything is intact. We need to manage the inside pressure, there has to be harmony because on the back of harmony you get good team spirit and you get results.
“When you are playing in the league it is different because you know you have 30 rounds. When you are facing a knockout competition, 'it is or die'. You have a situation where you only have one shot, one bullet to hit this monster, if you miss you are gone, you start to shake and shiver and we don't want to get into that mode.
“I don't think [Maritzburg coach] Ernst Middendorp will want to come to Johannesburg and lose for the second time, he will make it extremely difficult.”
Komphela claims that he does not feel it necessary to get a kick out of beating a former employer, the 49-year-old having left Maritzburg to join Chiefs two seasons back after guiding the KZN outfit to their one and only top eight finish.
“I try not to be a man of vengeance,” he said, “if you do things in vengeance, you never achieve what you want. The danger of being too desperate to knock something down, [it takes] just a slight slip - you get knocked down, so I try to leave out emotions and be more rational.”
African News Agency