DURBAN – Kaizer Chiefs’ domestic form this season has seen the club go through one of their worst periods historically.
Things have been so bad for the Glamour Boys that coach Gavin Hunt recently indicated that this season has been the worst in his 27-year coaching career.
“Personally, results-wise, this year has been the worst year ever in 27 years but if you understand football you see that there are a lot of things we need to do,” said the four-time PSL winner.
Amakhosi have not been a threat to likely league champions Mamelodi Sundowns and to make matters worse, they were eliminated from the Nedbank Cup in the last 32 stage by National First Division side Richards Bay United.
However, the Soweto giants can make amends in the CAF Champions League where they are set to contest their quarter-final first leg against Tanzanian club Simba SC at the FNB Stadium on Saturday evening.
Youngster Njabulo Blom who has been one of the few bright stars in the Chiefs team this season understands the significance of his side having reached an advanced stage of Africa’s Premier club competition.
“It is the first time we have qualified for the Champions League. The group stage was difficult because the referees were not on our side. As a team we are proud of ourselves, we are not doing well locally and we have to keep a positive mindset,” said Blom.
One of the advantages which Simba may have ahead of the game is that they have not played a competitive fixture since April and will have fresh legs. By contrast, Chiefs last match was a tough 1-1 draw against Moroka Swallows on Wednesday.
Blom believes that his side were aware that since circumstances would occur prior to the start of the season.
“At the start of the season, they told us that we would have to prepare mentally and physically. We were aware that we would need to rest well because we would be playing week in and week out. We were aware that we would be playing during the week and on weekends. We are used to it now because this has been the pattern since the start of the season,” he said.
It remains to be seen which Chiefs team will turn up against Simba SC- the demotivated one or the motivated one. However, it is imperative that they win the home leg and try to avoid conceding as they could potentially have to contend with difficult conditions in the return leg which will be played in Tanzania next week.