PREMIER SOCCER LEAGUE
Coach Giovanni Solinas: best of Chiefs yet to come
The addition of Lebo Manyama will make for a fearsome attacking unit at Naturena
Coach Giovanni Solinas has warned Premier Soccer League rivals that the best of Kaizer Chiefs is still to come and believes the addition of Lebo Manyama will make for a fearsome attacking unit at Naturena.
Manyama debuted on Saturday as Chiefs brushed aside Cape Town City 4-1‚ with the Bafana Bafana attacking midfielder playing for 77 minutes.
Solinas says while the 28-year-old is not yet fully fit, when he is‚ his combination with the likes of Khama Billiat‚ Leonardo Castro and the pacey Dumisani Zuma will make Chiefs a potent attacking force.
"The problem with Lebo is his fitness — he arrived at Kaizer Chiefs with no preseason.
"He has been working with the fitness coach. Lebo is a top player‚ he is a player who can help us score more goals‚" Solinas said. "In my opinion he is still not 100% fit‚ but when it is top‚ Lebo is an unbelievable player. This is a player for Bafana Bafana‚ he is a top scorer."
Chiefs also had Madagascan Andriamirado "Dax" Andrianarimanana on the bench, and with the offensive-minded George Maluleka returning from injury‚ the Italian coach will soon be spoilt for choice.
"Now we have good players [coming in] like Lebo Manyama‚ Dax‚ George Maluleka‚ Mario Booysen … so now is coming the real Kaizer Chiefs‚" he said.
Saturday’s win, which was a first league success for Solinas since taking over, will be followed by a visit to Free State Stars on Tuesday. He says the players need to "stay humble" and continue to make the improvements that have been evident recently.
"We need the balance‚ not only on the field‚ but also mentality. When things have gone wrong for us‚ we need to keep strong. We need to keep believing in our job‚" Solinas said. "When the victory comes‚ the success‚ you stay humble, and this is the right mentality. Today I am happy for the boys‚ but we need to stay with our feet on the ground."
About 35‚000 fans came to the Cape Town Stadium for the game that was played in an electric atmosphere and ended in party mode with Chiefs’ success. Solinas said the influence of positive support for the team had been important.
"I am very happy because our fans deserve this victory‚" the coach said.
"Today our fans made the difference‚ they supported us‚ they supported the boys and the players played well because they felt [the backing of] the supporters."