Posted: 15 March 2017
Time: 15:33

Chippa United coach Dan Malesela is desperate to break the club’s trend of getting knocked out in the first round of the Nedbank Cup.

The Chilli Boys have yet to progress beyond the round of 16 in the multi-division tournament, getting eliminated at the first hurdle in every edition since 2011.

Tonight they face First Division outfit Witbank Spurs in their tournament opener at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, with kick-off set for 19h30.

Having lead the club to their first ever top eight finish in the Absa Premiership last season, Malesela has now set his sights on a new ‘first’ in his second season in charge.

“There’s always a first time. We’ve already broken the myth of the top eight first time, and there’s a lot of first times that we’ve broken already,” said Malesela.

“There’s also a lot more that we need to break and this is one of them. This is the last cup competition of the season and we have to try and get as far as we can.

“By ‘far’ I mean probably be in the semi-finals or beyond, so we are looking at that but I’m not going to start saying, ‘no, we going to win the cup’ – no, no!

“We are being realistic and we respect other teams that are in the league and in the Cup, and they are also competing, they want the same thing that we want so we’ll treat this match with respect but also try to forge forward.”

The Chilli Boys are going into tonight’s clash having won just a solitary game so far in 2017, and they have now gone six league matches without a win.

Though admitting concern over his side’s form, ‘Dance’ feels there are some of the games they did not deserve to drop points and admits they have been their own worst enemy since the turn of the year.

“It [our form] is worrying because it is the longest winless spell we’ve had and for me personally it is the first time I lose so many games,” he added.

“It is a worrying factor but, as worrying as it is, you sort of have consolation in how the team is performing. You look at the performances [when we lose] and you ask, ‘is it justified?’

“The only game that one can really say, ‘this one we deserved to lose’ is the game against Platinum Stars and that is why I had a ‘heart attack’ from that, because I knew we deserved to lose,” he joked.

He continued: “But all these other games, you look at them and you say ‘did we really need to lose?’ No, we didn’t. It’s from our own mistakes that we lost and it is from our own mistakes that we drew.

“We just need to minimize the mistakes and capitalize on what we have as advantages; for instance scoring and all these other things, then we can capitalize and forge forward.”

Article by: Robin-Duke Madlala

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Author : Robin-Duke Madlala

Publish date : 15 March 2017 | 1:33 pm

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