Molefi Ntseki insists Kaizer Chief’s’ current challenges are ‘coachable’

Ntseki Molefi feels his team can work on what is hindering Kaizer Chiefs at the moment. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Ntseki Molefi feels his team can work on what is hindering Kaizer Chiefs at the moment. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Published Sep 18, 2023


Kaizer Chiefs’ goalless draw with Royal AM has added pressure on their strike force ahead of must-win matches this week.

Chiefs failed to register their third win in a row in the DStv Premiership against Royal AM on Saturday, having won back-to-back games and drawn an MTN8 match before the Fifa break.

But it was not due to a lack of effort from Amakhosi, who were the better side on the night at FNB Stadium with 18 scoring chances, which included two efforts that hit the woodwork.

It was a good performance that Chiefs can build on going forward as they replied to the hostile criticism that they’ve received since the start of the season.

But the fact that they failed to score is worrying.

Chiefs will have to find the back of the net and win this week at all costs, starting on Wednesday night when they visit SuperSport United in a league clash at the New Peter Mokaba Stadium (kick-off 7.30pm) in Polokwane.

While the three points are vital, they’ll also want to avenge last season’s loss to former coach Gavin Hunt.

The clash against SuperSport will serve as a rehearsal to another must-win encounter against Mamelodi Sundowns in the MTN8 semi-final second leg on Saturday afternoon.

Sundowns already hold the advantage heading into the decider, having secured an away goal in the 1-1 draw in the first leg in Soweto last month.

Chiefs coach Molefi Ntseki knows what is at stake in both matches and has backed his forwards to take positives from the performance against Royal AM into this week.

“The other important thing is that the challenge we experienced is coachable,” said Ntseki after his strikers fired blanks against Royal AM.

“When you talk of composure, you must work on it. In small spaces, (you must know) how do you deal with those situations.

“If you look at Christian (Saile), Pule (Mmodi), Jasond (Gonsales) and Ash (du Preez), I think they worked very hard to get into those goalscoring areas.

“But the positive will always be that let’s go back to training. We did well but unfortunately we couldn’t score goals and we must work throughout the campaign.”

With Chiefs’ primary issue against Royal AM upfront, Ntseki is delighted that they were able to keep their third clean sheets in three league games.

Chiefs’ defence was erratic during the start of the season, with goalkeeper Brandon Petersen responsible for two successive defeats against Sundowns and TS Galaxy.

But since then, it’s not only Petersen that has dusted himself off as the new defensive combination of Thatayaone Ditlhokwe and Given Msimango is starting to bear fruit as well.

“I think the most important thing is the tactical cohesion that you build among the players,” said Ntseki on the importance of having his best defensive unit.

"When you build a team, there must be an understanding between players and as an individual, in terms of what are the tactical demands out of possession and in possession.

“When you look at how they played in the past matches and even today, there is a very clear understanding between the team.”

Sure, the clear understanding has to continue again this week but Ntseki is more thrilled that they’ve got depth at right-back in the shape of Zitha Kwinika and Reeve Frosler.

“Kwinika gave us more balance in defence. That’s why when we wanted to take the game to Royal AM, we brought in Reeve, who’ll give us more options going forward,” Ntseki said.

“It was for Reeve to get more involved in the game. Our possession game became better with Reeve coming in but I think they’ve done well defensively.”