Kaizer Chiefs coach Arthur Zwane insists their 2-1 loss at home to Chippa United was “a wake-up call” ahead of two important matches this week.
After winning three games on the bounce, Chiefs were expected to continue with their rich vein of form against Chippa United in Durban on Saturday.
But it wasn’t to be. Sphelele Luthuli’s goal and Edmilson Dove’s late own goal ensured the Chilli Boys won 2-1, nullifying Siyabonga Ngezana’s early lead.
That defeat wasn’t part of the script for Amakhosi, who knew a win would have boosted their confidence ahead of Sunday’s match away to AmaZulu.
Chiefs will face Usuthu in the MTN8 semi-final second leg away in Durban, slightly disadvantaged after hosting them to a 1-1 draw in the first leg.
But before that game, they’ll have to try and return to winning ways in the league against TS Galaxy tomorrow night in order to revive their confidence.
And that’s why Zwane isn’t sulking and moaning over the recent loss, as he’s banking on his troops to bounce back to winning in the next two games.
“It is a concern that we didn’t win; I was hoping we’ll get maximum points and build the confidence going to Galaxy,” Zwane admitted after the loss.
“But I guess we didn’t win this game for a reason as well. Maybe, we were going to be overconfident going into the cup game and to the Galaxy game.
“So, it’s more like a wake-up call for the boys. Like I said, the boys did their best. Yes, we made mistakes, but they created scoring chances as well.”
Chiefs had a slow start to the season – a feat that put Zwane, who was tasked to reinvigorate the club’s identity and winning culture, under pressure.
But there’s been improvement in the playing style of late, with players finding each other with ease. And that’s why Zwane is confident they’ll bounce back.
“For me this was a set-back, and we have to show the character to come back from this game and do better going forward,” the 49-year-old coach said.
“But I have no doubt we’ll do that. We’ve shown that we can beat anyone, pound to pound, because we are not a team that wants to sit back.
“We’ll try to penetrate until we get opportunities and convert them. And it will come. On a lucky day, against one of these teams, we’ll score five or six.”
Amid rebuilding the club, Zwane has to ensure that they win trophies as well – considering that it’s been seven years since a trophy graced their cabinet.
A win over Usuthu will pull them closer to the promised land, even though that won’t be easy given the latter’s changes in their technical team recently.
Usuthu have a new coach in Romain Folz, 32, the Frenchman having replaced Brandon Truter, who parted ways with the club after a poor run of form.
Folz started his tenure with a 1-1 draw against Orlando Pirates away from home, while he stated that he’s the right man to revive the sleeping giant in Usuthu.