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Football | Absa Premiership

George Lebese © Backpagepix

Chiefs players given licence to thrill



Kaizer Chiefs midfielder George Lebese admits his side have been given more freedom to play and they are looking for their first win under caretaker coaches Ace Khuse and Doctor Khumalo ahead of their Absa Premiership match against SuperSport United.

The match is scheduled for Saturday evening at the FNB Stadium in Soweto, kick-off at 20h15.

The Amakhosi head into this league clash off the back of three defeats in a row after losing to Free State Stars in the Nedbank Cup, and then Maritzburg United and Santos in the Premiership.

Lebese admits his side’s morale is a little low at the moment, but they are looking to bounce back with their first win under their new coaches when they take on a Gavin Hunt side that have been inconsistent this season.

“We have been down and obviously we are a little disappointed in ourselves that we haven’t been able to win at least two of those games (speaking of the three losses in a row), but we are working hard on improving our performances.

“SuperSport have been playing well, but they have shown this season that they struggle sometimes in front of goal and have dropped some points as well.

“But we are looking to get our first win under coach Ace and Doctor,” said the attacking midfielder.

SuperSport have indeed struggled in front of goal and at one point this season went six games without scoring a goal. But of late United seem to have found their form, winning three league matches in a row and scoring five goals in the process.

That has seen the Pretoria-based side up to third on the league table, three places and five points above the Amakhosi (although Chiefs do have a game in hand), and the Matsatsantsa challenging for the league title.

It is because of this that Lebese feels the game on Saturday will be a free-flowing one with plenty of action, especially considering the fact that Khuse and Khumalo like to play a more attacking type of game.

“It is going to be an open game. I’m sure it won’t be a draw as both teams are looking for the three points, and we hope to be the winners at the end of the day.

“They (new coaches) are more attack minded, they like to play with two strikers, but they haven’t had much time with us and we need to work on that.

“We have been given freedom to express ourselves. If we feel like doing a trick or two you can, but it must contribute to the team as a whole and going forward.

“Our midfield is really strong, we have been able to control games and create chances, but we just need to convert those chances in front of goal,” concluded the 23-year-old Phefeni Glamour Boy.

From the SuperSport camp, coach Gavin Hunt, despite his side only being three points behind league leaders Orlando Pirates, does not feel his side are in with a realistic chance of challenging for the title and will focus on one game at a time.

“I don’t see any way in which we would win the League. It will be a big mountain to climb. I still think it’s between Pirates and Sundowns.

“We will take each game as it comes. We are going to concentrate on what we can do and not worry about Sundowns, Chiefs or Pirates,” said the Matsatsantsa mentor.

His players, however, are a little more confident and according to their Ghanaian striker, Edwin Gyimah, they will get the better of the ‘big three’ starting with Chiefs.

“We will beat the big three. We will win against them when we meet. We know that if we can win against them, we will have a big chance of winning the title.

“Now that they (Chiefs) are not doing well does not mean we have to take them lightly, they are still a good side and will bounce back any time.

“We still respect them. We just have to go out there and win this game to close the gap on top, not looking at their problems,” said Gyimah.

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