JOHANNESBURG - Ramahlwe Mphahlele is tired of talking about what Kaizer Chiefs need to do to turn things around after three seasons without a trophy.
“We’ve been talking, talking, talking. It’s about time now that we actually show the supporters on the pitch - to say look, we are giving it everything,” Mphahlele said Monday, at the launch of the MTN8 at Park Station in Johannesburg.
“If we lose giving it everything, then we can go home with our heads held high because we gave it our all. We will show it on the pitch that we want it. There’s no use talking and going on social media writing that we are going to win the treble and we will win this. We are prepared to fight because we are hurting from the last couple of seasons.”
Mphahlele continued: “It’s about time that as players we raise the bar a little bit. We need to start showing out there that we mean business. It’s good to talk that we want to win things but it’s about time that we show that on the pitch. The club deserves a trophy.”
Mphahlele hasn’t won a trophy with Amakhosi since joining them from Mamelodi Sundowns two years ago. While he has done well personally - even returning to the Bafana Bafana fold, the club has struggled to bring back glory days in Naturena.
This has seen players, like Mphahlele, constantly have to answer for the team’s shortcomings. The pressure to deliver has piled up so high that every setback is seen as the end of the world because it’s not looked in isolation but as a continuation of a three-season barren run.
Chiefs have no choice but to start firing from the onset to fan the boiling anger from the club’s supporters. Amakhosi start the season on Saturday with a tricky encounter - visiting the league champions, Sundowns, at Loftus Versfeld.
“It’s good that we start with Sundowns,” Mphahlele said. “We played them two weeks ago (in the Shell Helix Ultra Cup). They are a very strong team. It’s going to be tough but we have worked very hard in pre-season.
"As much as we aren’t where we want to be, but we are in the right path and we will have a go. We’re going to stand our own. We’re going to Pretoria to play. The new coach wants us to play. I have no doubt that we will put on a good fight and I am confident that we will get something out of that game.”
That game will be Giovanni Solinas first as Chiefs’ coach. He has watched all of their pre-season friendlies on the stands while the club sorted out his work permit. The Italian coach has a mammoth task of not only bringing trophies at Chiefs but also to play attractive football. But at the moment Chiefs are only concerned about winning, how it comes about is something they’ll only worry about once they end the drought.
“He is a very aggressive coach,” Mphahlele said. “He wants perfection. He wants us to work hard. He wants us to change the mentality Three years without a trophy isn’t nice. We’ll keep fighting. If we give up as players then who is going to bring the trophy? We have to bring the trophies. The players have to work hard to bring the trophy. No one else is going to do that.”