Coach confident despite slim loss
Recalled Kaizer Chiefs coach Muhsin Ertugral is predicting a bright future for the once-feared Amakhosi this season despite starting the season in a low gear with a 2-1 narrow defeat by Tottenham Hotspur.
But the Premiership 2006-07 coach of the season was quick to point out that they will have to focus more on their defence, which looked a bit disorganised in the Vodacom Challenge match against Spurs in Durban on Saturday.
Speaking at a post-match media briefing, a confident Ertugral said: "We made two defensive errors which cost us the game. I think it was a good game, we could have scored more goals.
"We played against one of the top soccer clubs in the world. You also have to take into consideration that we have just started preparing ourselves for the new season, we have been together for two weeks.
"Our plan is to do well this season. As for the game against [Orlando] Pirates on Thursday, it will be a tough one but people will see a different approach and we are ready for them.
"We will use the next few days to work on the defence," said Ertugral, who was overheard after the game asking some of Chiefs' officials to organise a video of Saturday's game for him.
The injured David Obua, who was also at the briefing, said they were looking forward to successfully defending the title they won last season when they defeated current English Premiership league champions Manchester United in the final.
Saturday's performance showed a lot of improvement from the team that blew hot and cold last season, and failed to qualify for the SAA Supa 8.
An estimated 40 000 spectators had to wait until the 39th minute to witness the first goal, from Spurs' captain Robbie Keane, who beat Chiefs' off-side trap.
Chiefs regrouped in the second half and their efforts were rewarded when Shaun Bartlett levelled matters in the 50th minute, heading home a cross from new recruit Onismor Bhasera, the Zimbabwean left-back who won the man of the match award.
Six minutes later, Spurs introduced England striker Darren Bent, the club's record signing at £16,5 million pounds (about R235 million). Bent wasted no time in making his presence felt when he crossed for Berbatov to score the all-important goal for Spurs, Chiefs' off-side trap again failing.
Amakhosi also used the game to parade striker Mabhuti Khenyeza, who joined them from Golden Arrows.