Chiefs endured a slow start to the season, collecting a draw and back-to-back losses in the first three matches of the DStv Premiership.
It was an unpleasant start that was not aided by a group of angry supporters pelting new coach Molefi Ntseki with missiles after their loss to TS Galaxy in Mbombela last month. But, while the hooliganism cannot and should not be condoned, the frustration of the fans seems to have given the team a wake-up call, with Chiefs finding form in the last few weeks.
Amakhosi are unbeaten in their last four matches, thanks to back-toback league wins and a draw with Mamelodi Sundowns in the first leg of the MTN8 semi-final at home before the Fifa break. They also drew a match that they should have won against Royal AM this past Saturday at FNB Stadium in their last game.
But having shown steady improvement, including three clean sheets in the last four games from Brandon Petersen, it’s safe to say Chiefs are on the right track, right Kwinika?
“We are taking it one game at a time,” Kwinika told Chiefs’ media department this week.
“As a team, we are gaining momentum and building. I think the more we get better, it helps the team going forward.
“We can always do better with this team. You are always required to bring your A-game and win games but I think we are building and getting better.
“It’s a matter of getting results and making sure people are happy. But as a group, we know where we are and we owe it to ourselves, the chairman (Kaizer Motaung), fans and the team at large to win games.”
Chiefs will have to put their money where their mouth is tonight when they visit SuperSport United at the New Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane.
United have been a troublesome team for Chiefs in the past, having also won their last meeting in Rustenburg, with coach Gavin Hunt getting the better of his former employers.
Kwinika knows the history of the two teams well but he also knows the importance of going into Saturday's must-win MTN8 semi-final second leg clash away to Sundowns on a high.
“It’s going to be such a (difficult) fight. It’s not an easy game to play. You can see their form, they are a good team, very organised and an experienced team,” Kwinika highlighted.
“It’s one of those where we need to go and test ourselves while preparing for the game after that one (against Sundowns in Tshwane).”
Chiefs, though, wouldn’t be on this good run if it wasn’t for the players like Kwinika.
Kwinika returned to Chiefs, having left as a teenager, with a lofty billing last season but he struggled in the middle of Chiefs’ defence, resulting in being dropped by Arthur Zwane.
Ntseki seemed not to consider him for the first games of the season as well but all that changed against AmaZulu following an injury to right-back Reeve Frosler.
And since then Kwinika hasn’t looked backed, playing the last four games. So with him expected to start against SuperSport, he’s ready to deliver.
“I am in a good shape and obviously with getting minutes (after being sidelined) I am getting back to my old self,” Kwinika said.
“I think that’s boosting me a lot in terms of confidence, fitness and always being ready to deliver for the team whenever I am called up.”