JOHANNESBURG - Veteran Kaizer Chiefs striker Bernard Parker has sent his teammates a wake-up call as they continue to search for their maiden victory in home Absa Premiership matches this season.
Amakhosi battle it out against Free State Stars at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on Saturday, having triumphed on three occasions in the PSL, all on the road.
The first came against Cape Town City, the second against Maritzburg United at Harry Gwala Stadium in Pietermaritzburg, and the third at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria against Mamelodi Sundowns.
Chiefs have struggled at home, having earned three points out of the possible 15. Those points came in stalemates against Bidvest Wits, Golden Arrows and Orlando Pirates. Their other two matches have been home defeats to SuperSport United and Baroka FC.
Chiefs have also conceded more goals at home than on the road. They have let in five goals in five matches at home and scored three, while they have kept only kept two clean sheets in those five games.
Parker has vowed to change the bad fortunes at home, starting with the game against Stars.
“It is a worrying factor (that we haven’t won at home)," Parker said. "Every team that comes to us wants to prove the point. They want to show their A game.
"We need to wake up. It is our third season now without a trophy. It's not only our quality and our talent, it's all about our effort, attitude and our minds. If we can lift that a little bit, no team can stop us.
"It is only ourselves that is beating us because we allow other teams to step on our toes and overpower us. We let them win their battles in our home ground and when we go away for instance, the crowd lift us,” Parker added, explaining why they have struggled at home.
Chiefs have collected 12 points from a possible 18 on the road and have also kept the most clean sheets playing away, with four in six matches.
“Our coach, the technical staff and players, we are well aware that our home record hasn't been what is expected in us," said Parker.
"Our supporters in Durban always play a big role in our performances. We are back to our home away from home. Mabhida is our happy away home ground.
"Hopefully things will work out for us. Last time we lost to Baroka. They wanted it more. We were a little on the back foot. They overpowered us with their energy. It was big learning curve for us.
"From there on we have stepped up a gear. Now we are back at Mabhida. We want to live up to expectations,” Parker elaborated.
Stars have improved under coach Luc Eymael and have been getting positive results.
“Free State Stars are looking more lively, they are looking more positive," said Parker.
"You can see their energy and the way they have been playing. We are aware that they haven’t played in quite some time so they will probably be fresher than us. They will be more energetic.
"I think our game has gone more mentally now. We have to stay level-headed and try and play fast. We need maturity in our fast play. I believe that can change the results.
"The work ethic, commitment and heart is there. It is matter of using the mind more in our attacking play. We have to support and motivate one another and create more. We need creativity and always possess our A-game,” Parker stated.
Chiefs are in sixth place on the PSL log, having amassed 15 points in 11 matches, although only three points separate Amakhosi from log leaders Baroka.