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Football | Absa Premiership

Ace Khuse and Arthur Zwane © Backpagepix

Chiefs look to revive title hopes



Despite being knocked out of the Nedbank Cup, Kaizer Chiefs assistant coach Arthur Zwane says the Amakhosi are still confident of success in the league ahead of their Absa Premiership clash against Maritzburg United.

The match is scheduled to take place at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on Tuesday night, kick-off at 7:30pm CAT (SA, GMT+2).

The Phefeni Glamour Boys bundled out of the Nedbank Cup on the weekend with a 1-0 loss to Free State Stars, but vow to bounce back with a victory against Maritzburg in the league.

Zwane admits they are heart-broken following the cup loss, but are now fully focused on their league challenge.

“If you look at league there is only a six point difference and we have a game in hand. It is important we close that gap between the leaders and ourselves and we believe we can do so,” said the former right winger.

The Chiefs assistant coach is also confident other teams will drop points, but they must make it count in their favour if they are to win the league title, stating the Amakhosi must believe in themselves.

“The teams ahead of us will drop points, but we must capitalise. We need to win all our remaining matches and we will win the league.

“If we don’t believe in ourselves at this level then we are in the wrong business,” said Zwane.

Looking at the Team of Choice and Tuesday night’s game, the assistant coach admits they are worthy opponents and Chiefs will give them the respect they deserve.

“We respect Maritzburg and we know it is always difficult playing the smaller teams. We know they will be motivated to play us as every team is when they take on Chiefs.

“But three points is crucial for us – we cannot drop any points. We must work as a team, concentrate and play our best, that way we will get the win,” finished Zwane.

Much like Chiefs, Maritzburg were dumped out of the Nedbank Cup on the weekend after a 2-0 loss to Mamelodi Sundowns.

Coach Ernst Middendorp was not happy with his team’s performance on the day and admits his side’s defensive efforts have to improve if they want to pick up points in the league.

“We must stop this nonsense (in defence). It’s a little bit like suicide in my opinion,” said Middendorp of conceding silly goals against ‘Downs after his defence was split open.

Ahead of the Chiefs game Middendorp adds that his side cannot make the same mistakes, “We have important games coming up in the league and we mustn’t make those mistakes.

“We have to meet everything as done in preparation in dealing with moments in games to make sure we pick up points.”

When the teams met in Pietermaritzburg earlier this season they played to a goalless draw, but Chiefs have won three of the five home matches they have had against the Team of Choice.

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