Chiefs defender Zulu wary of TS Galaxy challenge: 'If we focus on the negativity‚ it will affect us'

Philani Zulu of Kaizer Chiefs during the DStv Premiership match between Chippa United and Kaizer Chiefs at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on October 27, 2020 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.
Philani Zulu of Kaizer Chiefs during the DStv Premiership match between Chippa United and Kaizer Chiefs at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on October 27, 2020 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.
Image: Deryck Foster/BackpagePix/Gallo Images

Kaizer Chiefs left-back Philani Zulu says that their league match-up against TS Galaxy at FNB Stadium on Wednesday night is “as important as any game we have played so far”.

Versatile Zulu‚ who can also play in central defence‚ or left or central midfield‚ believes Chiefs need to bounce back quickly from what could be a demoralising 3-0 MTN8 semi-final first leg defeat to Orlando Pirates on Saturday.

Chiefs are meeting the team who‚ then in the National First Division‚ shocked them in the 2019 Nedbank Cup final for just the second time‚ adding a further psychological edge to getting one back over Galaxy.

Coach Dan Malesela’s Galaxy are one of three new sides in the Dstv Premiership‚ having bought the franchise of Highlands Park.

“This coming game is as important as any game we have played so far. We don’t have to dwell on anything else‚” Zulu said.

“If we focus on the negativity‚ it will affect us. We need to dust ourselves off and focus solely on the game in front of us.

“As much as they are a new team in a sense‚ they will come at us like any other team that faces Chiefs. They will bring their ‘A’ game and come at us guns blazing. We will have to match that and give 110 percent.

“As much as we think about them‚ we also need to focus on ourselves and deliver the kind of performance that will give us a positive result.”

Zulu said some early disappointments in 2020-21 as new coach Gavin Hunt seeks his best combinations‚ and to reenergise a squad that fell as runners-up when they might have been champions on the final day of 2019-20‚ can be overcome if Chiefs maintain focus.

“The coach and technical team will help us get through the pressure moments‚” the former Maritzburg United player said.

“We need everyone to be on the same page‚ and if we stick together‚ we will achieve our goals despite the disappointments and setbacks. It will take a lot of mental strength from us to do so but we go forward with a lot of positivity”.

Chiefs have had mixed fortunes in their start to 2020-21. They beat Maritzburg 2-1 in the MTN8 quarters‚ then in the league lost 3-0 to Sundowns at home and beat Chippa United 1-0 away‚ before their semi-final first leg defeat to Pirates.

Amakhosi meet Bucs in the semi second leg at FNB Stadium on Sunday.

Galaxy have had a decent‚ unbeaten start to life in the top-flight‚ drawing 1-1 away to fellow new side Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila‚ then beating AmaZulu 1-0 at home.

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