JOHANNESBURG - The thought of quitting has never crossed Steve Komphela’s mind despite him leaving the Moses Mabhida Stadium under a police escort, recurring chants from angry Kaizer Chiefs’ fans that he must go and two barren seasons.
“Winners never quit and quitters never win,” Komphela said on Thursday at the club’s headquarters in Naturena.
The beleaguered coach had to strain himself when pressed if the thought of quitting ever crossed his mind. He drew a blank, arguing that quitting isn’t in his DNA.
“I don’t want to take myself out of human beings because a normal human being would pose a question like you do (whether I have thought of quitting on not),” Komphela said. “I don’t want to say that I am abnormal. But I don’t get to think like that (giving up).
"Maybe I am wired differently, which is why I am in this position. You can’t be normal if you’re a coach. Any normal coach is abnormal. If you are a coach, you have to be otherwise which then explains why you would have one person going through fire and the rest of the world is like, ‘but can’t he see the fire?’ He was meant for that fire. He doesn’t feel it because that’s where he belongs.”
A giant fire extinguisher in the form of a major trophy is the only way Komphela will fend off the flames that are ravaging him. The defeat to Baroka FC in Durban on Saturday fanned that fire and exposed the club’s frailty of losing concentration in key moments. Komphela has seen that happen so often that he is “sick and tired” of repeating himself over and over again in his explanations of why Chiefs have once again failed to get a positive result.
“It’s not nice,” Komphela said. “The one thing that we need to get quickly is results. In as much as we see players putting in enough effort, you need to get results. There are two things in football, results - if no results, reasons. I am sure people are sick and tired of reasons.
"Even ourselves, we are sick and tired of saying that we conceded from a set-piece, it shouldn’t have been. We conceded from the lack of pressure inside the box, it shouldn’t have been. We surrendered a lead, it shouldn’t have been. Too many reasons and for too long. We don’t need that. We need to get results so that we get our confidence back.”
Amakhosi will look to gain confidence with a win over Bloemfontein Celtic on Sunday at Free State Stadium in the Macufe Cup ahead of two matches - against Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates - that will test their resolve.
Positive results against Sundowns and Pirates would buy Komphela more time but defeats would turn the fire he is facing into a full-on blaze. But don’t expect Komphela to abandon Amakhosi, regardless of how hot things get as his driving force will not make him give up.
“I am looking at the project,” Komphela said. “The excitement of challenges is that you want to break through."