George Maluleka of Kaizer Chiefs. Picture: GALLO IMAGES/LEFTY SHIVAMBU
George Maluleka of Kaizer Chiefs. Picture: GALLO IMAGES/LEFTY SHIVAMBU

Kaizer Chiefs midfielder George Maluleka believes the Soweto giants can still challenge for the league title.

Chiefs‚ who started the season under the muddled stewardship of Giovanni Solinas‚ have looked better structured since December when Ernst Middendorp took the reins.

They have sagged to seventh place in the Premiership with 28 points from 20 matches. With 10 games left to play‚  Amakhosi are nine points behind leaders Bidvest Wits.

Maluleka said on Wednesday‚ as Chiefs prepare to face Polokwane City at Peter Mokaba Stadium on Saturday (kickoff 3pm)‚ that he believes Amakhosi can challenge for the league.

“Yes. Yes‚ I still think we can do it. It’s going to go down to the last day‚ I think‚ once again‚” the midfielder said. “But we believe we are still there.”

Maluleka was asked what gives him hope that Chiefs can challenge. “I think [it comes from] the whole team. I mean‚ then why are we playing‚ if you are going to believe we’re not going to [challenge]?

“We believe we still can‚ and anything is still possible. Everyone else is also dropping points. You know‚ there’s draws. So you know‚ we need to keep our eyes open as well. And hopefully it will soon turn our way.”

Chiefs have won three times in the league‚ drawn once and lost twice in six matches since Middendorp’s arrival on December 9.

Under Solinas they won four‚ drew five and lost four of 13 league matches.

• Maluleka has thanked the club’s supporters for voting his super strike against SuperSport United as the  Premiership Goal of the Month for December.

Maluleka was presented with the award at Chiefs’ headquarters in Naturena on Wednesday.

Asked if he had expected the prize‚ he said: “I didn’t. But we do have a lot of supporters. I did have a look at a couple of goals in that month. And I’m very happy that I received it.

“Like I said‚ it’s all thanks to our supporters and the voters out there.”

Maluleka’s stunning long-range strike came in the 64th minute of Amakhosi’s 1-0 PSL victory against SuperSport at Mbombela Stadium on December 12.

Collecting the ball outside the 18-yard box, Maluleka looked up and unleashed a swerving drive past goalkeeper Ronwen Williams into the top-right corner.

Maluleka’s strike will  compete for Goal of the Season‚ also voted for by the public.