JOHANNESBURG – More Kaizer Chiefs players are speaking out about what it is that’s still missing for the Glamour Boys to give their fans something to celebrate.
A win in the Soweto Derby against rivals Orlando Pirates at FNB Stadium this afternoon, following their midweek masterclass away to Mamelodi Sundowns in Tshwane, will certainly go a long way in keeping the critics at arm’s length.
But striker Bernard Parker says Chiefs lack “tactical discipline”, another way of saying they simply don’t follow instructions.
Amakhosi have not won a trophy since their league and cup double early in 2015.
“We show up one game and then the next three games the results don’t go our way,” said the scorer of the second goal in the 2-1 victory over the Brazilians on Tuesday night.
“We should keep the tactical discipline, what was working for us. Maybe we should even do it quicker and be more clinical.
“There was a lot of pressure going into the Fifa break (Chiefs had lost to Baroka FC) and we worked hard on what can work for us. It paid off.”
He then argued that this conundrum wasn’t only an issue for Amakhosi, but a riddle for all South African clubs.
Pirates’ 1-1 draw at home against Platinum Stars a day after Chiefs had beaten Sundowns was perhaps another classic example, their coach Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic saying they lacked intensity.
“In this country, the footballers have everything. But we lack the discipline. This is a modern game now. We saw Tottenham Hotspur and Real Madrid (who played to a 1-1 stalemate in the European Champions League earlier this week) doing it, keeping the tactical discipline,” Parker explained.
“Don’t get carried away. We also saw what happened in the (MTN8) final for Cape Town City – stick to the plan and stay focused. Here, going forward we have the skill and the flair and the speed.
“We also have the brains. The league is tougher now, you can’t just go on to the field thinking you are going to come out with a win.
“There are a lot of surprises as well. We don’t know what Pirates have prepared. It is also a mental game.”
A deep thinker, usually, in his responses – whether times are good or bad – Parker admitted that Chiefs players have to beware of taking the lesser fancied sides lightly.
In that sense, putting up a performance as organised, with a high pressing game plan, as the one against Sundowns could come naturally.
“That is the challenge in our game today,” he said.
“We need to help the coaches by managing ourselves as well. If we do things according to the philosophy, I think things will come right. But if we want to walk onto the park thinking Baroka is a small team, as most people would say, we will always get surprised.
“And it’s not just Baroka. We played Wits at home. We should have won the game, they were down to 10-men, but we drew.
“We had Golden Arrows, another draw at home, and they weren’t threatening that much. They were hoping to get a goal from our own mistakes.
“We didn’t stretch ourselves to get the result.”