It doesn’t look like the Kaizer Chiefs are ready to throw in the towel in the race for the DStv Premiership title, despite an insurmountable points gap between the Glamor Boys and Mamelodi Sundowns.
According to Chiefs coach Stuart Baxter, the Naturena team is still in contention for the league title and every point is valuable to them leading up to their Soweto derby league clash with Orlando Pirates at Orlando Stadium on Saturday, in a tie that possibly will see some fans protesting not being allowed to return to the stadiums outside the venue.
Amakhosi is third in the standings with 32 points after 18 games, tied with the Buccaneers, but the fourth-placed Sea Robbers have played three more games than Amakhosi for this game, with both sides leading the way Sundowns by 19 points.
“It was a very difficult season in many ways, it was very difficult to restructure the squad, then there was a Covid-19 pandemic and a lot of pandemics within our club,” said the Chiefs coach.
“We have the ongoing saga of games to be played or not. So we are in a position where we have three games, which is potentially nine points, plus we have to play Sundowns. So that could be a 12 point swing and I don’t think you’re completely out of the picture with those 12 points,” said the Chiefs head coach.
“We will find every reason to win every game and if there is no other reason there is a reason why our supporters want to support a successful team. Not a team that throws in the towel. We are not going to do that, we are going and we will try to breathe Sundowns on the neck as best we can But it’s up to them to lose, isn’t it? So it would be a huge shock if they lost it. But we’ll keep going and that’s the only way to to go.”
For the Buccaneers, co-coaches Mandla Ncikazi and Fadlu Davids have made it clear that the league title is already on its way to Pretoria, with Ncikazi jokingly saying the league trophy is already in Downs’ trophy cabinet.
The club have preferred to focus entirely on finishing the season as high as possible, particularly in second place, which will guarantee them a spot in the Café Champions League next season, so a win against Chiefs is imperative.
“It’s a target, we’re not hiding it. But we can’t focus on it now, we have to focus on the next game. We have to take it game by game, our priority is recovery and getting the players mentally and physically ready for the game. We play every game to win, be it a derby or any other game,” said Bucs’ co-coach.