On managing the expectation of Chiefs supporters ahead of a “massive” game against Mamelodi Sundowns:
The players have to concentrate on putting in a good performance and let the result come from that good performance. That will take concentration. We are aware of the fact that this is a big game and we are looking forward to it.
On using the expectations of Amakhosi supporters as a positive for the team’s performance:
I know the history of Kaizer Chiefs. I know the atmosphere surrounding these games and I am very well aware of the anticipation of both me coming back and a very modest upswing in the interest and positivity surrounding the team. We’ve got to continue with that, continue building on what we’ve done and make sure the supporters’ hopes and dreams fuel our performances a little bit. We can’t feel pressure because of it, but we can feel inspiration and motivation because of it. That’s how we’re looking at it. Try looking at using it as a positive fuel and make sure we give it everything we’ve got.
On international players returning to league action:
You would like the players to have another day or so to recuperate, the ones who have had big games. But at the same time we’ve only just started the season and Khama for example needed a couple of good games. Maybe he’s one of the lads that maybe the last 10 minutes we need to pull in, but the majority of the lads have looked quite sharp. We’ve had an exceptionally sharp training at FNB and at pre-match we tied up a couple of things. Everybody is feeling both pressure and optimistic.
On the possibility of having Lebo Manyama on the bench today:
Lebo played for the team that will not be starting (in training). He put a few let’s say clouds in my sky, because he was outstanding in training. He will be starting on the bench. It will be great to have him on the bench and great for him to feel he’s finally back. He can’t play a full game, he can’t even play a full half, but he’s been so sharp in short bursts. We’re tempted to put him on the bench.
On facing Sundowns:
Sundowns are the champions, as simple as that. They have probably two teams that can compete at the top level of the PSL. We know they can be dangerous. They showed us in our first game (in the MTN8) that if they hit their straps they can be very difficult to get a hold of. They’re very well organised. It’s up to us to make sure that the game against Kaizer Chiefs is an unpleasant one for them. We don’t want to be dominated, we want to dominate. If we can do that and get that sort of performance out of our lads, then I am sure Sundowns will have a tough game. We have to approach the game with all humility and respect for our opponents. But every drop of belief in our quality, we need to put into the game.
On the approach to the game, playing the champions away at this stage of the season:
We’re building. Just as you can’t put the roof on a house when you’ve only just built the first floor, you can’t rush the building of a squad or a team. The culture goes down first, the tactical understanding goes down, the fitness levels go up and the confidence levels have to come as you’re moving forward with the results. We’ve got a few things tactically we still have to address, you can’t do everything at once. It’s as simple as that, we will keep going. You don’t go for broke at this stage of the season, but you’re concentrating on giving a good performance and making sure the stuff we’ve done up to this point, you do it well.