Home Sport ‘I can do way better for Chiefs’ says Ashley du Preez

‘I can do way better for Chiefs’ says Ashley du Preez

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Du Preez is Chiefs’ main striker, but has done little to live up to that billing, missing goals when it looked easier to score – hence his love-hate relationship with the fans.

Ashley Du Preez of Kaizer Chiefs during the DStv Premiership 2023/24 football match agaisnt Chippa United at Buffalo City Stadium on 6 April 2024. Picture: Deryck Foster, BackpagePix

Mihlali Baleka

There’s still an air of positivity hanging over Kaizer Chiefs regarding their chances of qualifying for continental football next campaign.

Chiefs have been in a pit in recent weeks. They’ve lost back-to-back DStv Premiership matches – to Stellenbosch and Chippa United.

Those defeats dented their chances of finishing in the top three in the league and qualifying for African football next season, and have taken their fate out of their hands.

Chiefs are stuck in eighth place on the log with 30 points, 10 points behind second-placed Stellies and seven behind Pirates in third.

Their poor run of form has made it seem more likely for them to finish outside the top eight, instead of qualifying for Africa.

But as the team flew out of Gauteng to Cape Town for the funeral of slain defender Luke Fleurs, they still had their CAF hopes intact.

“We are (still) fighting for a CAF spot,” said striker Ashley du Preez, before explaining what they need to do to win matches.

“So, our plan to win that game is by creating chances and converting them. We need to fight as a team to score goals – that’s the only way we can win the games.

“We need to improve on our one-versus-one situations as well. If we do that, it will give us a better chance for us to win the game.”

Granted, the loss of Fleurs to a fatal hijacking incident unsettled the club, but Chiefs still had their own problems as a team, particularly up front.

So, when Du Preez says they need to score goals, he’s right. And kudos to him – he’s taking his own advice and putting his money where his mouth is.

Du Preez is Chiefs’ main striker, but has done little to live up to that billing, missing goals when it looked easier to score – hence his love-hate relationship with the fans.

“I think I can do way, way better performance-wise. I do get chances and stuff in each game. So, I need to be ready when chances come,” he said.

With Du Preez still believing that they can challenge for a top-three spot, there’d be no better time for them to revive those hopes than on Sunday afternoon.

Chiefs will visit Richards Bay at the King Zwelithini Stadium in a virtual “six-pointer”, given that the Natal Rich Boyz are also fighting for their lives.

Richards Bay are languishing in the play-off spot, five points above basement dwellers Cape Town Spurs, who could trim that gap to two tomorrow when they face Sekhukhune United in Polokwane.

So, knowing what’s at stake, Du Preez said the Amakhosi will not leave any stone unturned as they want to change their fortunes and make up for lost ground.

“Knowing that Richards Bay are not in a good position on the log, we are going to Durban to get maximum points,” Du Preez said.

“We haven’t won in a long time. So, I think as the team we are looking forward to the game against Richards Bay. It’s going to be a tough game.”

Chiefs’ clash against Richards Bay will mark 15 days since their loss to Chippa United and 18 since the death of Fleurs, who was yet to make his debut for the club.

So, given the gap between those incidents and the game in uMlazi, Chiefs have had some time to recover both on and off the field.

“The first two days after we came back from East London, knowing that we didn’t get maximum points, weren’t so great,” Du Preez explained.

“We lost a game, and that was really frustrating … But we got over it and worked on getting better every day in training.”

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