Psychologist and coach: Kaizer Chiefs coach Steve Komphela says his players have to show character and lift up the spirits of their supporters. Picture: MICHAEL SHEEHAN/GALLO IMAGES
Psychologist and coach: Kaizer Chiefs coach Steve Komphela says his players have to show character and lift up the spirits of their supporters. Picture: MICHAEL SHEEHAN/GALLO IMAGES

Kaizer Chiefs’ wastefulness in front of goal has everything to do with confidence being eroded by abuse on social media, says coach Steve Komphela.

He says players are taking less risk and attempting fewer innovative moves because they are scared of the negative feedback that follows failure.

"Unfortunately, we are living in the social media era where everything is in the players’ faces‚" Komphela said.

"At the end of the game, the player goes out and checks [what is being said about him]. If he has missed chances‚ they say he is a cow‚ he is this and that. That player is obviously going to be affected emotionally and mentally and is not going to be the same player in terms of trying to score in the next game."

Komphela says there is much less space in the modern game, with tighter and better organised defences. Therefore players need to be even more creative if they are to prise open opportunities and score goals.

Teboho Moloi. Picture: SUPPLIED
Teboho Moloi. Picture: SUPPLIED

But because of the abuse, they are increasingly reluctant.

A player "won’t want to get into a position which is going to expose him because after trying and failing, he faces abuse".

Chiefs missed several good opportunities on Wednesday night as they went down 1-0 to Chippa United at the Nelson Mandela Stadium and have now scored just twice in their previous six outings.

Their total for the league season so far is a paltry 11 in 13.

The defeat means they are without a win in their past five league games‚ increasing the pressure on Komphela‚ who says his coaching job is being split between on-field work and acting as a psychologist.

"Any coach must have some level of skill of being a psychologist. You are dealing with emotions," he said.

"If they are high‚ you must detect and bring them down. If they are too low and you feel they are just about to crumble‚ you have to lift them [up]. When you determine what action to take — to lift them up or bring them down to Mother Earth — it calls for a certain level of understanding," he said.

"The first thing that comes to mind is: ‘what message are
we sending?’

"You have to immediately lift them up because it is not only about the players going down but it is the depression they send to their own [supporters] in the stands," Komphela said.

"It is not only for coaches to inspire players, but it is also for players to stand on behalf of their people. We have to show character‚ that we’ve taken it on the chin and we can say‚ ‘I still have my head held up high’.

"You need that because if you drop your shoulders, you are depressing those who support you‚" said Komphela‚ whose side next play away against Platinum Stars at the Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace on Saturday.

Chippa caretaker coach Teboho Moloi has been handed the job at the club on a permanent basis after suffering only a single defeat in 12 matches.

This was announced by club chairman Siviwe Mpengesi after the win over Kaizer Chiefs as Chippa climbed to an unprecedented second place in the Premier Soccer League standings.

But Moloi‚ who has four wins and seven draws under his belt since replacing Dan Malesela‚ warned that the club’s newly elevated status held out the prospect of some major pitfalls and asked a lot of questions of the squad.

"Being second now is a challenge because you are near the top and everybody will be shooting at you‚" he said. "Will we able to block all those bullets coming at us?"

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