Platinum Stars hope Chippa have not recovered from the effects of playing Sundowns over two days
Cavin Johnson has praised the work of Chippa United counterpart Dan Malesela as he prepares his Platinum Stars side for an Absa Premiership meeting at the Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace on Friday.
Stars are aiming to move eight points away from the relegation zone and surely to safety‚ while for Chippa the match is a chance to move back into the top eight.
“There has been a lot of stability at Chippa since Dan took over the ship and they are a very good team‚” Johnson told Times Media Digital.
“Just look at their attacking play this season‚ some of it has been fantastic and they have been steadily picking up points.
“I was quite surprised when they got rid of Marc van Heerden‚ Thembinkosi Lorch and James Okwuosa in January because I felt those were all key players for them.
"But they have still been able to maintain a high standard and I think a lot of that is down to Dan.
“We know we will have to put our best foot forward to beat them‚ even if we are at home.”
Stars are without influential skipper Vuyo Mere who is suspended‚ and will be far more rested than their Chippa counterparts.
Chippa had to complete their Premiership fixture against Mamelodi Sundowns on Wednesday morning after a power failure at Loftus Stadium the night before.
“That will have been difficult for them physically and mentally‚ and I hope it works for us‚” Johnson says.
“Despite the fact of where we are on the log right now‚ we have been playing some very good football recently and we hope to improve further on that.”
Johnson does expect goalkeeper Mbongeni Mzimela and midfielder Robert Ng’ambi to be fit after they both went off injured in Saturday’s 3-0 away victory at Bloemfontein Celtic.
Chippa would be far higher up the table this season were it not for their woeful form on the road.
Their last eight away games have yielded six defeats and two draws‚ certain relegation form were it not for their strong showings at home.
Malesela hopes the point gained at Sundowns acts as a turning point of sorts for the team on their travels‚ even if he did play down its significance ahead of the clash with Stars.
"We always expect positive outcomes but this one does not say anything‚ it's going to be tough.
"Platinum Stars just won 3-0 against Celtic‚" Malesela said.
"They are on a high and we need to push ourselves up.
"It will all depend on how we handle ourselves on the day‚ but we need to be positive every-time." - TMG Digital