Chilli test awaits Dikwena
As Platinum Stars approach their Absa Premiership match against Chippa United on Tuesday, the players know exactly what will be going through the minds of their opponents.
The match takes place at the Athlone Stadium with kick off scheduled for 19h30.
Dikwena go into the game on the back of a stunning streak of form, having won their last five matches to go up to third position on the table, while struggling Chippa United are second from bottom.
Long-time club servant Thuso Phala has had his excellent form recognised with a call up to the national team.
For Platinum Stars coach Cavin Johnson, the game is a role reversal of the norm: in the past Stars have been accustomed to battling it out at the foot of the table against sides higher than them on the standings.
“In a normal season we would be finding ourselves in position 15 battling against a side in third place, now against Chippa it will be the other way around,” explains Johnson.
“We know what will be going through their minds, we’ve experienced what it is like to be down there, it’s like a dogfight, battling for every point, be it one or three.
“They are fighting for survival and this makes them a very tough opposition. For us, it is about taking our game to another level; maintaining our form and building and improving all the time.”
The Rustenburg-based side have a clean bill of health for the encounter.
The Chilli Boys have found some semblance of form under care-taker coach Farouk Abrahams and have collected two points from their last two matches against SuperSport United and Moroka Swallows, Mkhanyiseli Siwahla the former Ajax prodigy scoring his first goal for the club against the Birds.
Vuyisile Ntombayithethi has recently taken over the role of club captain, and although he will miss the game through injury, he is hopeful that his teammates can deliver a performance good enough to come away with a result.
“The break from action has been good for us, it has enabled the players to regroup and work on some issues, and hopefully we’ll come out firing on all cylinders and get the three points.
“We can’t underestimate Stars as they are a side in great form. I heard (Stars midfielder) Benson Mhlongo talking in the media other day about how motivated they are to do well and the good attitude of the Stars’ players.
“So we are going to have to put in a very good performance to get something from this game, but I’m confident the guys can do it because we are determined to turn things around,” said Ntombayithethi.