Bernard Parker is a confidence player if ever SA has produced one‚ and the striker from Kaizer Chiefs is hoping that a goal against Mamelodi Sundowns on Tuesday has helped restore that self-belief and at the same time unclogged his head.
Since finishing as the Premiership’s top scorer in 2013-14 with 10 goals‚ Parker has lost the scoring touch that made him one of SA’s best finishers.
As Chiefs prepare for the Soweto derby against Orlando Pirates at FNB Stadium on Saturday, Parker hopes that one of his best all-round displays in some time — in Tuesday’s 2-1 win — has cleared his mind so he can focus on what he does best: scoring goals.
"With the modern game today, it’s all about confidence.
"If you get given confidence‚ with the quality you possess as a footballer‚ nothing can stop you‚" the deep-thinking — sometimes too much so — No10 said on Thursday.
"Just [playing] with the right mentality‚ right attitude. [I am] debriefing myself as well‚ trying to prepare the same way with the same mentality‚ keeping your mind clear all the time.
"And also opening your heart as well‚ taking more of the positives‚ and the positive happenings will follow," Parker said.
"Going into the game [against Pirates] with what we come back from [on Tuesday]‚ I think we should keep the tactical discipline‚ we should keep doing what was working for us and just keep doing it‚ repeating it and even doing it faster and more clinical."
A new game plan against Sundowns for Chiefs seemed to suit Parker’s intelligent running.
Amakhosi have largely attempted a pressing game under coach Steve Komphela.
After winning the ball‚ they quickly recycled it to their forwards through searching passes from their midfielders.
Parker revelled in it‚ beating the offside trap several times‚ including when he scored and striking the upright.