EAST LONDON – Chippa United coach Dan ‘Dance’ Malesela heaved a big sigh of relief after his team managed to collect three valuable points for the first time in the 2017/18 PSL season this week.
The Chilli Boys defeated AmaZulu 2-0 in a tightly contested Absa Premiership clash at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Tuesday night.
The Port Elizabeth-based team lost their first match to Orlando Pirates a week ago. Unsurprisingly, some followers in the Eastern Cape were disappointed by the results because they felt their team should have won the game or at least came away with a point.
Before the last match, there was really pressure on the coach and team to produce good results at home.
Malesela signed a number of exciting and experienced players that included the likes of Kurt Lentjies, who played for Maritzburg United last season, Mark Mayambela, Brighton Mhlongo and Moeketsi Sekola, just to mention a few.
That on its own increased the expectations of the fans, who were disappointed when their team were nearly relegated last season.
The Chippa United coach told reporters that he is very much pleased with the results, even though his team struggled in the final third.
Malesela said he is trying to make sure that his team play exciting football and score goals – something that was missing and which has contributed immensely to their troubles of last season.
“I am avoiding a situation where we keep possession, but it’s going nowhere. We keep possession because we want to open up people and when we have those chances, we’ll do so,” said the coach after the game.
“I think it was evident in the game against Pirates that we are a more forward-oriented team that must keep the ball. But by all means, if we cannot find a way, we won’t force things as if people don’t exist. We are trying our utmost to be an offensive team.”
After losing to Pirates, the hard-to-please coach made changes to the team that started against AmaZulu and fortunately that worked very well. Both goals came from the newly signed Sekola and Abel Mabaso.
“We started slowly, but at the end, the changes we made really counted. A very good goal in the first half, good build-up and good runs off the ball. It was a positive thing, the calmness also of the goal-scorer Sekola.
“We always strive to win at home, and if there’s one thing I hate, it is losing at home. I introduced a number of players and we made four changes from the last game (a loss against Bucs),” said Malesela.
Chippa United will play their next game in the second week of September at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium against Baroka FC.