It may not have always been pretty, but Kaizer Chiefs coach Arthur Zwane was full of praise for the way Amakhosi battled their way to an important home win against Marumo Gallants to snap their DStv Premiership winless streak.
“Yes, it was not a game that was pleasing on the eye, the way we want to play, but we had to grind the results. I think we were very disciplined today, we were very compact from the first-half, I must give credit to the boys. Yes we knew that at some point maybe we’ll catch them on the break and be able to catch them,” Zwane told the media at FNB after the 1-0 win against Gallants on Tuesday night.
Keagan Dolly’s deflected second half cracker was enough to give Chiefs all three points and a win “we needed it to boost our confidence as things have not been going our way”.
“The more we play the more we’ll get better. Yes there will be those elementary mistakes that are costly sometimes. We’ll get that right, like today we kept a clean sheet which is a good thing. Playing against a team that is possession-based, always waiting for that right moment to play a forward pass,” said Zwane, after a game in which Chiefs had to be disciplined and patient against confident opponents who had just qualified for the Nedbank Cup final.
Zwane anticipated “a very awkward game” against opponents comfortable in possession with highly technical and talented players, but he was pleased with the way Chiefs limited their opponents’ goalscoring opportunities.
The Chiefs coach is expecting a similar game against opponents this weekend in Mamelodi Sundowns, who are also comfortable on the ball with plenty of quality in their ranks.
“Sundowns are playing more or less a similar style (to Gallants), but they’re more deadly and dangerous, because they’ve got good runners upfront. Players like (Peter) Shalulile and other strikers, who can hold the ball and wait and have other players join in. That’s the difference between them, in terms of the quality,” said Zwane.
“We are going to have to plan for them, like we planned for this one, and we will see how we can also exploit the space behind Sundowns defence, because we don’t have those explosive players in our team at the moment. We only have Khama and Keagan, who is also explosive, but in our number eight and number nine positions we don’t have those explosive players. The minute we improve on that aspect we will also be deadly going forward. We will try and work on that,” Zwane added.
As Chiefs coach Zwane is focused on trying to get the players to enjoy their football, while implementing a style of more expansive and attractive football.
“We can’t just come here playing at home, get the ball, kick it forward and lose it and then the opposition are on top of us. Those days are gone. We have the following, the support, we have everyone behind us, they want to watch something that is pleasing on the eye. The minute we get that one right I have no doubt the results will start coming, because our players will have that way of playing, knowing how to attack, when and how to defend and playing to dominate every game, because we want to start dominating. Then it’s easier for you to win games. You don’t just go onto the field wanting to win games, but you have a way of winning, knowing the approach against different opposition and , within the structure of Kaizer Chiefs and the Kaizer Chiefs way,” says Zwane..
Players who are brought into the squad “will obviously have to fit in with the system and the way we play”.
“It’s pointless for us to play the way we want to play and we don’t get players who can fit into that system. Gone are those days when we will just bring any player to Kaizer Chiefs for the sake of him being a good player. He can be a good player, but not for Kaizer Chiefs, so we will go specifically for players we think will suit our style of play,” concluded Zwane.