While a few have seemingly given Kaizer Chiefs little chance as a force to be feared, Golden Arrows coach Mandla Ncikazi shares a different view ahead of the two teams’ league clash on Saturday.
“If I had a choice, I wouldn’t have preferred to play Chiefs at this point in time, but the fixtures dictate that we meet them on Saturday afternoon,” said Ncikazi in reference to the tricky situation of facing a wounded opponent.
Chiefs are still reeling from a 5-0 bashing on aggregate by Soweto rivals Orlando Pirates in the MTN8 semifinals, and coach Gavin Hunt is under pressure to turn things around an Amakhosi side that is low on confidence.
Arrows host the out-of-sorts Amakhosi at Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium in Clermont, KwaZulu-Natal, with Ncikazi’s side aiming to record its second straight win at home.
“We anticipate that our match against Kaizer Chiefs will be the toughest that we have played thus far, based on the fact that they are a big team with quality players, [have] a rich history behind them, and results have not been favourable to them lately,” Ncikazi pointed out.
“I’m sure coach Gavin Hunt, who I respect very much, will motivate and inspire his team to try and get the points against us.”
The encouraging part on our side is that our team is in a good space, it’s highly confident and has the belief.”
Ncikazi has had a positive start to his tenure since he succeeded Steve Komphela as Arrows’ new head coach last month.
Under Ncikazi, Abafana Bes’thende remain unbeaten in three DStv Premiership outings so far, with a win and two draws.
He will face Amakhosi having forced a draw at Baroka FC just before the Fifa international break.
“We trust our processes and plans based on how we have prepared for this match, and I’m highly optimistic that we shall get the positive result on Saturday.”