JOHANNESBURG – The number three is starting to become a curse at Kaizer Chiefs, and midfielder George Maluleka believes it’s high time they start writing a positive chapter in the club’s historical records.
Amakhosi are currently enduring a three-year barren run, having last won a piece of silverware in April 2015, and they have until May to prevent that unwanted record extending to a fourth season.
On the other hand, they’ve successively lost three official matches to their arch rivals Orlando Pirates, and they merely have until Saturday to stop the run of becoming the whipping boys of Soweto.
“Yes, it’s a reality (that we haven’t won anything in three years),” Maluleka admitted.
“But we focus on positives instead of the negatives. For us to redeem ourselves and the supporters, we’ll try to get some silverware so that we duck out of this hole that we are in.
"We always remind ourselves that we are the ones that put ourselves in this situation, and we can only get ourselves out of it.”
The odds for Saturday’s Premiership derby are in favour of Pirates. Due to their level of understanding, having been together for more than 18 months, they are in fine form in the league and continental football.
On the other hand, it’s only now under the tutelage of Ernst Middendorp that Chiefs have shown glimpses of constructive football, having previously dealt with the quagmire of having four different coaches in 11 months.
Steve Komphela resigned in April, and in came Patrick Mabhedi for the duration of the season, while Italian Giovanni Solinas only lasted five months.
“I can’t really say what the difference is, but they (Pirates) are playing a lot of games, and they are getting a lot of experience from the Caf (competitions),” Maluleka said.
“From the Caf games, we all know that there’s a mental part of it, but I wouldn’t say that they have an upper hand (on us). It’s something that we are aware of, and (we’ll try) to match them mental-wise.”
Following their slip-up last week in the league against Cape Town City, Amakhosi are banking on three points against Pirates to push them up the PSL standings.
However, their title challenge is a bit far-fetched, as they trail log leaders Wits by 10 points, with 11 more games to play this season.
Former SuperSport United man Maluleka is not throwing in the towel, though, as he believes there’s still a lot that can happen.
“The difference in points is not that much,” he argued. “With the games that are still going to be played, there’s still a lot that can still happen, and the teams still need to play each other.
“We just need to be ruthless at home.”
Should Chiefs finally bag three points against Pirates, that will give their supporters some sleep following some torrid times from their naysayers.@Mihlalibaleka