Joel Masutha says he’s still learning to be a coach in the Absa Premiership. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

JOHANNESBURG – Joel Masutha says he’s still learning to be a coach in the Absa Premiership - not necessarily the kind of remarks his Black Leopards bosses will want to hear given their current log position.

Lidoda Duvha face Kaizer Chiefs tonight at FNB Stadium in a league fixture that they need to win just as badly as Amakhosi.

But Masutha said yesterday he was “enjoying the ride”, not panicking, but rather encouraging his players to have incredible self belief to try and come away from the clash with all three points.

“You are judged based on results,” Masutha said. “If it doesn’t work, then the club will always go out there and get someone else who will get the (positive) results. I have worked with about 30 coaches, learning and see how each one of them handle the pressure. This is my first time coaching in the PSL (top division) and I am enjoying the ride. I am still young and if I put myself under pressure then I will crumble. 

I am not going to ask the players to die for me because this is not about me. It’s about the club and we are going to fight like hell to try and get the points against Chiefs or any game for that matter. I wish we were actually playing them in Thohoyandou this time around.”

Leopards, who were in 12th place before last night’s fixtures, have already faced Amakhosi once before this season in the opening round of the Telkom Knockout.

Chiefs won 4-2 on penalties having had to come from behind to force a stalemate after Masutha’s men ran them ragged earlier.

Pentjie Zulu of Black Leopards during the 2018 Telkom Knockout Cup match against Kaizer Chiefs in October. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix
Pentjie Zulu of Black Leopards during the 2018 Telkom Knockout Cup match against Kaizer Chiefs in October. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Giovanni Solinas, coach of the Glamour Boys - who is desperate to end a winless run of three matches in the league - had about six players missing then and pointed to that as the reason why Chiefs struggled to put Leopards to the sword.

“I don’t think he can have any excuse now because I see their players are back,” Masutha said. “I expect him to look for consistency by playing almost the same team that played (and beat) SuperSport United in the cup over the weekend. 

But Chiefs have quality players regardless of who is playing - Siphelele Ntshangase, Gustavo Paez or Hendrik Ekstein. They will be physical, but we will be ready.”


The Star

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