JOHANNESBURG - Steve Komphela says his targets as Kaizer Chiefs coach haven’t suddenly changed because of the club’s busy January transfer window.
“This team is always under pressure to win trophies with or without these players,” he said in his first public reaction to the arrival of Leonardo Castro from Mamelodi Sundowns, Bloemfontein Celtic’s Kabelo Mahlasela and the signing of Siphelele Ntshangase.
The trio is yet to feature for Amakhosi since joining, with striker Castro awaiting a work permit and Ntshangase still relocating from Limpopo. Mahlasela unfortunately suffered a knee injury, which will be assessed on Monday, but Komphela has said the midfielder could be out for up to three months.
“Leo will help us with striking and getting goals where possible, Ntshangase will help us in midfield and Mahlasela is also a good player, who is highly offensive. If you look back, most of the best players in the world - Ballon d’Or winners - are all people who are unbelievably dynamic and we have those kind of players here,” the coach explained.
“Lionel Messi, and maybe Cristiano Ronaldo is an exception from players who have won the Ballon d’Or, but the rest are very dynamic and very offensive. We have those players. I am not now saying these guys are going to be Ballon d’Or nominees, but just making an example. I am trying to say Mahlasela will give you that dimension. Unfortunately he got injured in his first session, and it looks like he could be out for up to three months. We are looking forward to having Leo and Ntshangase.”
There has been growing pressure from Chiefs fans on Komphela, who is yet to win any silverware since taking over the head coach position in June 2015. Although their first match of the new year away to SuperSport United on Saturday afternoon in Nelspruit was highly entertaining, the goalless draw was perhaps not the result Komphela would have wanted.
Asked if he was still looking to raid Premier League rivals for quality players before the end of the month, Komphela suggested he was satisfied with the business done.
“I am sure we have kept nine clean sheets. Anyone can say when Leo comes he will give us something in attack, which should help us. When you are asking about any position in particular, I should look more at which department. We just need to convert the chances,” the coach said
“There’s a lot of matches, and you can go back to check, the only problem with us is just taking the chances that we create. And make no mistake about it, we do get chances.”
Komphela, whose side host Polokwane City at FNB Stadium in their next league encounter on Saturday, also weighed in on the contribution made by Siphosakhe Ntiya-Ntiya, who was promoted from the academy last week and made his debut against SuperSport.
“I thought he did well in his first game. It’s not easy to play for Chiefs, especially when you are this young,” he said. “For any top player, first matches are difficult - you need luck and you need to have clarity in how you are going to go about your game. And I thought he had clarity, the use of the ball was okay. The only thing I thought he could have done better at is physically, those come along with mental pressure and we could see towards the end the legs were giving in."