Gustavo Paez of Kaizer Chiefs faces the media during their training session at the Chiefs Village in Naturena, Joburg. Picture: BackpagePix
JOHANNESBURG – Had Kaizer Chiefs defended better in crucial stages of their last two league games, Amakhosi would have been in a much better position of fighting for the league title this season.

This is the view of the Glamour Boys’ exciting striker Gustavo Paez, who feels lapses of concentration in their rearguard in both matches is what cost them crucial points.

He said that had they collected maximum points they would have been in second or third position in the standings with just four league games to go.

In their last two encounters, Chiefs lost 3-2 to Cape Town City and were held to a 2-2 draw by SuperSport United.

Both Cape Town City’s winner and Matsatsantsa a Pitori’s equaliser came late in those matches.

The 27-year-old striker said Chiefs need to improve in those areas, starting with their encounter against Lamontville Golden Arrows at FNB Stadium on Saturday (8.15pm kick-off), if they are to increase their chances of finishing higher in the league standing.

“It’s difficult because we lost points in the last minutes of vital games,” Paez said.

“Had we won those matches and collected maximum points, we could have been in second position now. We are a few points behind (the table-toppers). We’ll have to give our best and win our remaining matches to enhance our chances of being title contenders.”

Paez, who’s made a positive impact since arriving at the club five months ago, said he is now settled in the team and hopes to be a regular feature in the Chiefs starting line-up.

However, the Venezuela-born striker conceded that it was not an easy transition to settle in at the club at first.

“It was tough at first because we have at least seven or eight strikers at the club,” Paez said.

“We are all friends but we also know that everybody has to fight for a place in the starting line-up. Also, it's a battle to be on the bench as well. Coach Steve Komphela is a very intelligent man. He knows how to bring out the best in me.

“When I started out here, he played me for about 20 minutes to help me settle in the team and get my confidence going. That is what I needed initially. I started scoring and making a greater impact for the team. I now feel I’m ready to play for 90 minutes. I have a greater understanding as to what my role is at the club.

“My teammates are passionate, they're motivators. Hopefully, we'll reclaim the glory next season. I’m confident my play will be much better too. But for now, I’ll just have to make sure I make the most of whatever time (the coach feels he should play me in game situations),” Paez added.


The Star

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