Richards Bay coach Simo Dladla: ‘It doesn’t get bigger than Kaizer Chiefs’
Richards Bay coach Simo Dladla is hoping that his players are not daunted by the big occasion of their Nedbank Cup last-32 meeting with Kaizer Chiefs at the FNB Stadium on Sunday.
Speaking ahead of their trip to Johannesburg, Dladla admitted there is a fear among the technical team that their largely inexperienced players may implode because of the enormity of the occasion for them.
This is despite the fact that Richards Bay are currently sitting second on the GladAfrica Championship standings on goal difference and on an eight-match unbeaten streak.
“This is a tricky one but I am trying every day to get the players to focus on our game and believe in themselves rather than focusing on Chiefs,” he said.
“It is a difficult one but at the same time it lies with them [the players], and on the day. It depends on how they are going to handle themselves on the field but we have been trying to motivate them.
“We are teaching them that the players are the same, it’s just the stage that is different — but it is a difficult one.”
Dladla said Richards Bay’s elaborate planning will go out of the window if players fail to stamp their authority on the match against a Chiefs side who have been inconsistent in the league this season.
“The fear is there that they may be overwhelmed by the occasion and all just break loose, but looking at the run that we have had in the league I am confident that we will do well.
“You must remember that this is the first time for me coaching against a PSL side in a competitive match but we are trying everything in terms of how we train and how we talk to the players. I have played against PSL teams in unofficial tournaments but this is for the first time in an official match and it’s against Chiefs.”
Dladla added that being drawn against Chiefs has had a positive effect on his players in the GladAfrica Championship.
“I have already benefited from this fixture because when we learnt that we will be playing Chiefs I saw a different team and different players. Everyone was working towards being present on the day and being on the starting XI on the day.
“That meant all the games that we were playing guys were giving 100% and I am happy with that. It doesn’t get bigger than Chiefs and we are just gonna go out there and enjoy ourselves.
“Our form was ignited by the fact that we have ambitions in the league and the fact that we have Chiefs in the Nedbank Cup. In terms of how we play I am really happy and we will approach the game the same way we have done in the past and I have already told the players we don’t have a game to lose.”