TTM coach Masutha admits the Fifa break was a blessing for his winless side: we need to win a match

Joel Masutha is aiming to establish himself as a Premiership coach with Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila.
Joel Masutha is aiming to establish himself as a Premiership coach with Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila.
Image: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila (TTM) coach Joel Masutha says the recent Fifa break came at the right time for his team as they continue to acquaint themselves with life in the topflight.

The winless newcomers have struggled to adapt to the challenges of the DStv Premiership since owner Masala Mulaudzi bought the status of 99-year-old Wits for an undisclosed fee in June‚ and Masutha conceded that the time away from the daily pressure of domestic football was welcome relief.

“We benefited from the Fifa break‚" he admitted.

"You know that we have just assembled a new team and unfortunately had to start the season five days after assembling the [side]‚” he said.

“It takes time for the team to gel and we used this break profitably because the players worked together for at least a longer period of time where we played friendly matches and worked on a few combinations.

"I am happy with our combinations having played a few friendly matches because there are improvements.

“We would have liked to have Justin Shonga and Mogakolodi Ngele with us but they had to go and represent their countries. The good thing is that they were playing.

"They are experienced players and it won’t take them long to gel with the other guys. I can say that we are in a better situation than before the Fifa break.”

TTM started their maiden campaign in the Premiership tentatively with only two points from a possible nine and Masutha said he used the break to work on combinations and integration.

In their three matches in the league‚ TTM drew with TS Galaxy and Mamelodi Sundowns but lost to Swallows FC.

Worryingly for Masutha‚ they managed to score one goal and conceded three.

As one of the three teams yet to register a win in the league this season‚ Masutha said they will gun for the maximum points when they host provincial rivals Baroka FC in the Limpopo derby at Thohoyandou Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

“We need to start collecting points‚ especially in the first round‚ so that we don’t get involved in the relegation dogfight next year.

"I can’t say I am happy because we haven’t won a match.

"We need to win a match to get the confidence up and to also show that we are capable.

“It is not only about having a good squad‚ but also about winning games. I believe and hope that on Sunday we will get our first victory against an in-form Baroka team.

"Baroka have started very well and they have been together for some time.

"It is a derby and Baroka will be coming with confidence because they had one of the better starts to the season.

"I am expecting a tough game‚ but I believe that we have capable players to help us get something from the game.”