Kaitano Tembo wary of Kaizer Chiefs threat

Kaitano Tembo, coach of Supersport United during the 2018 MTN8 quarter finals match between Orlando Pirates and Supersport United at Orlando Stadium, Johannesburg on 11 August 2018.
Kaitano Tembo, coach of Supersport United during the 2018 MTN8 quarter finals match between Orlando Pirates and Supersport United at Orlando Stadium, Johannesburg on 11 August 2018.
Image: ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Weekend success for SuperSport United away from home against early log leaders Bidvest Wits came at an appropriate time for the team‚ said coach Kaitano Tembo as they prepare for the MTN8 semi-final tie against Kaizer Chiefs on Sunday.

“It’s a morale booster‚" he said after Saturday’s 1-0 win at a frigid Bidvest Stadium.

"It gives us a little less pressure in terms of us preparing for the MTN8.

"Two days after that we’re playing Chippa and we are also trying to put emphasis on our league matches as well‚ because you saw last season what happened where we had to fight to avoid relegation so we don’t want to repeat that.”

Tembo rejected the suggestion that there was less pressure on his side ahead of the semifinal than opponents Chiefs‚ who have yet to win a league game.

“Not really‚ for us the next game is always the most important game and there is always pressure‚" he said.

"It doesn’t matter who you play or in which game you play‚ we always try and put emphasis on the next game.”

But he did agree Sunday’s first leg at Atteridgeville would be tough.

“They got into the semifinals because of a good win over Free State Stars and irrespective of their league form‚ a cup game is a different game altogether‚” he said.

Against Chiefs‚ Tembo will looking for inspiration from one of their former players after hailing the impact that Reneilwe Letsholonyane made after coming on against Wits on Saturday night.

“He changed the game for us because Aubrey Modiba was struggling a little‚" Tembo said.

"He couldn’t really get his foot on the ball and find the pass and Yeye did a fantastic job‚ together with Tebza (Tebeho Mokoena) and Dean (Furman)‚ who is always fantastic.

“I think that’s where we started playing well when Yeye came on.”

SuperSport have now emerged victorious from their last three matches‚ including the penalty shootout success over Orlando Pirates in the quarter-finals.

“We had a false start against Cape Town City but since that game we have been improving as a team and I’m very happy about that‚" he said.

“We are playing as a unit‚ we are playing as a team.

"We had a few chances against Wits.

"It has only been the final pass‚ especially on transition‚ that has let us down.

"We couldn’t get those passes off which is a pity because we’ve got speedy wingers in Thuso Phala and Evans Rusike who need those passes behind the defence."

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