JOHANNESBURG - Kgotso Moleko can see some light shining through the dark tunnel that Kaizer Chiefs are waddling in.
But every time is seems as if Amakhosi are making progress, the Soweto giants have been their own worst enemy.
Late goals against Cape Town City, Golden Arrows and SuperSport United towards the end of the last season saw Chiefs drop five points and lose ground in the PSL title race.
That problem resurfaced this season, leading to Chiefs being held by a struggling Wits.
Part of that problem is due to a fear of failure which causes Chiefs to make silly mistakes as they are too preoccupied with turning things around.
“We find ourselves in this position because we have been unlucky but also sometimes it’s because of the lack of focus,” Moleko explained.
“Lack of focus has let us down most of the time. We are trying to play good football, but sometimes things don’t go the way we want.
“If we can focus more, things will go well. It’s a mental thing. We need to be stronger, whether we are playing well or doing badly. If we can improve, we can turn things around.
“I know that it has been long (since the last time we won a trophy). But we are almost there.
“There is some improvement in certain aspects. We are working harder than we have been doing to try and get the required results.”
Moleko picked up a knock in Chiefs’ 4-2 win over Bloemfontein Celtic at Free State Stadium on Sunday in the Macufe Cup.
The right-back will be assessed by the club’s medical team along with goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune who also returned with a niggle from the senior national team.
Steve Komphela will hope that the pair are fit as they have been the foundation of a defence that has already been changed due to injuries.
Moleko filled the void left by Ramahlwe Mphahlele and made the position his own. The 28-year-old has played every minute of the five league matches he has been involved in.
Chiefs will need all the firepower they can assemble going into two crucial encounters next week, starting with African champions Mamelodi Sundowns followed by a Soweto Derby against Orlando Pirates.
Amakhosi need to have big-match temperament to get a positive result in those matches against teams bouncing back from their own disappointments.
Chiefs have lacked BMT under Komphela, which led to them losing two Cup finals in his first campaign. Things slowly improved last season to a point that Amakhosi beat the Brazilians.
But they didn’t do that enough, struggling to beat the other teams that finished in the top five.
That hasn’t helped Komphela’s case, but despite all the criticism he has endured he has consistently shielded the players from the pressure and the fans’ wrath. Moleko believes that it’s about time the players return the favour.
“For me as players, we owe the coach and the club,” Moleko said. “It’s sad to see people only blaming him for our struggles.
"We are sad as players because we are disappointing him. We need to work together, fight together to try and get positive results for the coach and the club.”