Giovanni Solinas' baptism-of-fire in the PSL ended in a 1-1 draw against Sundowns on Saturday. Photo: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

JOHANNESBURG – Kaizer Chiefs coach Giovanni Solinas says his playing style at Naturena will vary according to the strengths of his players.

The Italian mentor began his Amakhosi tenure on Saturday afternoon with a 1-1 draw away to reigning Absa Premiership champions Mamelodi Sundowns at Loftus – defender Ramahlwe Mphahlele grabbing the opener in the eighth minute before centreback Ricardo Nascimento leveled matters via the penalty spot later in the first half.

Solinas had gone with a flat back four, packed the midfield with the same number of players and deployed two strikers as opposed to his preferred 3-5-2 formation, which was also used by his predecessor Steve Komphela.

But asked whether he’d figured out how he wants Chiefs to play, Solinas said it would depend on the opponent and the “characteristics of the players.”

He explained: “We are going to play different to my time at Free State Stars because when I was there we had a team that was fit for a certain type of formation. In my opinion the players in the Chiefs squad can play different, so we need to adapt that formation to the characteristics of the players – they are very important.”

Patrick Mabedi and coach Giovanni Solinas during the Kaizer Chiefs Media Day on 20 July 2018. Photo: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix
Patrick Mabedi and coach Giovanni Solinas during the Kaizer Chiefs Media Day on 20 July 2018. Photo: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

Solinas, who is insists on a high press approach, said he did not want to risk using players out of position in an attempt to pursue a particular style.

Although he had two very brief spells with Stars, he appeared to be very meticulous in his planning, but the results weren’t always in his favour. In his second stint he claimed that Ea Lla Koto did not have the players good enough for the Premier League.

“They must be confident where they play so they can give 100 percent,” the coach said of his Chiefs squad, adding that the Glamour Boys “work very hard”.

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“I want the players happy. With Free State Stars the characteristics and quality of the players were different. Yes, the idea (in his new job) is the same, but the formation is different.” 

He would not comment on whether he was satisfied with his squad at Chiefs and whether he required reinforcements, insisting that all questions around transfers should be directed to football manager Bobby Motaung.


IOL Sport

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