Stars big guns take aim at Chiefs

Free State Stars coach Steve Komphela, reckons his two big guns in the form of strikers Sthembiso Ngcobo and Tebelo Mofokeng, will to too strong for Kaizer Chiefs’ unpredictable defenders to handle when they meet in a crunch Absa Premiership match at Rustenburg’s Olympia Park on Saturday. Kick-off is at 3pm.

Said Komphela: “I feel sorry for Chiefs coach Muhsin Ertugral because he has been let down by his defence this season. I believe Ngcobo and Mofokeng can exploit that lack of consistency which has led to a lack of confidence in their defence.”

Neither striker played in the first round’s 1-1 draw.

Said Komphela: “I simply think Chiefs are vulnerable in defence and that both strikers will be too much for an unpredictable Chiefs defence.

“They are under a lot of pressure because of their lack of consistency and that has put pressure on Muhsin.

“Unfortunately, it is always the coach who gets the blame when things go wrong.
That is the way of our job. But I believe his defence has let him down.”

Chiefs are in third position, nine points behind leaders and defending champions SuperSport United, with a game in hand and Ertugral has to win to keep his title hopes alive.

Stars’ big strength is their team organisation and that is where Komphela has made the world of difference. He has worked a minor miracle with Stars when he joined them at the end of last year when they were relegation candidates with only five points to their name.

They are now 10th with 33 points and in with a good chance of finishing in the top eight.

Komphela hopes to maintain their good form against Chiefs and go home unbeaten. “They equalised via a late goal in the first round and we managed to beat then 2-0 in the cup last year, so we are quietly confident.”

But Komphela is minus striker Paulus Mahese, defenders James Matola and Thabo Mashego who are all suspended.

Said Komphela: “We are used to problems like suspension and injuries to key players and we have more than survived. We have players to fill
the gaps.

“The best example is we almost beat Chiefs—minus both Ngcobo and Mofokeng—last time out and I believe with a good work rate and confidence sky high, we will upset Muhsin and his players.

“I really feel sorry for their coach as he is under pressure to deliver, but on the pitch there can be no holding back. We are going to attack their fragile defence and set up a platform to go home three points richer.”—Sapa

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