DURBAN – Chippa United coach Tebogo Moloi doesn’t want his team to be known as giant killers but instead he has a plan to establish the Chilli Boys as a formidable force in South Africa.
Moloi took over at Chippa after the club fired Dan Malesela last season.
Under Moloi's guidance Chippa have enjoyed big scalps like Kaizer Chiefs, Mamelodi Sundowns and Bidvest Wits.
On Sunday Moloi returns to where he started his football and coaching career when his team welcome Orlando Pirates to Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth. The Absa Premiership game will kick off at 3.30pm.
Chippa have another opportunity to enjoy giant killing status but Moloi is more worried about changing the state of mind of his players.
The Chilli Boys are synonymous with vigilant and enterprising football that is based on possession.
“I don’t want us to be known as giant killers or a team that plays good football,” said Moloi. “Good football must be complemented with goals, good log position and a good cup run. You can’t play good football and fight relegation.
“At least in three cup competitions you must reach one or two of the finals. I came in to a team that is used to fighting relegation. They are used to being number 11 or 14. I’m here to change that mindset. We started well and then my players started to relax and commenced to be comfortable. When my team realised that our position was in danger, they raised their game and defeated AmaZulu. They are now relaxed because they are not in a threatening position on the log.”
Chippa are now seventh on the log, having amassed 27 points from 21 outings.
“My team is used to fighting. My team will never go in to a match and say we are going to win,” added Moloi. “My chairman at Orlando Pirates (Irvin Khoza) once told me that there are players who are born winners and there are players who know how to win and there are those who enjoy winning. My team has all those kind of players.
“There’s a Kaizer Chiefs team that used to wear Admiral (kit). That Kaizer Chiefs team was one of the best teams in South Africa. They used to possess the likes of Suptla Nhlapo, Computer (Vusi Lamola) and Teenage (Dladla). That team was a gem. They had goals, good football, and won a lot of trophies. I want my team to be like that,” Moloi stated.
Chippa have earned a reputation of letting go of their best players.
“We need to change that mentality that football is about show-boating. People will say it is the SA style of football. SA style of football without trophies?
“My team has the potential. What do you want if you have Jomo (Thabo Rakhale), Figo (Linda Mntambo), Paseka Mako and Mark (Mayambela)? We lost Phetso Maphanga and Diamond Thopola but we are still strong.
“Good football must have goals and trophies. That Kaizer Chiefs team gave us that. When I was coming to PE, I was at Bidvest Wits leaving for their trip to Africa. I missed those trips.,”
Moloi is still one of Pirates' favourites sons. He won trophies at Pirates as a player and coach.
“I don’t know whether I’m afraid or excited about facing Pirates but I owe you an interview after that game. That’s where I will be able to tell how I feel. It is going to be a tough game. 'Micho' (Pirates coach Milutin Sredojevi) has improved as a coach. He has the African pedigree. They also have Rhulani Manzini. He doesn’t sleep, he works hard studying every individual in your team.
“If you don’t plan for them they will hammer you. It will be a different feeling. I never thought I would leave Pirates but Jomo Sono once told me that one day you will stand on your own. I arrived at Pirates when I was five years old,” Moloi concluded.