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Amakhosi need to take baby steps

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“You must be realistic in football. I mean, the points difference, if you finish the season and you look at the log, if the champions are on 60 and you are on 40, you are far off.

Tsepo Masilela of Kaizer Chiefs.

While Kaizer Chiefs will be hoping to turn over a new leaf in the 2019/20 season, former Amakhosi defender Tsepo Masilela believes the team should focus on closing the gap between themselves and the top two before thinking about winning the championship.

Considering that they hold the prestigious tag of being the most successful team in the Premier Soccer League era, Chiefs have defied that status in the past four seasons as their trophy cabinet has gathered nothing but dust.

Add to the fact that, having failed to get the all-important results, they were not appealing on the eye either.

Last season, Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns pushed each other to the limits for Premiership honours. The latter prevailed, winning their second successive championship, while the former finished runners-up for the second season in a row.

“We are hoping this year it’s going to be better. But if you look at the gap from last season, firstly you need to think about closing the gap before you win championship,” Masilela (pictured) said.

“You must be realistic in football. I mean, the points difference, if you finish the season and you look at the log, if the champions are on 60 and you are on 40, you are far off.

“If it’s 20 points or 15 then you know what you’re up against it.

“But anything can happen; it’s football, my friend.”

However, while Amakhosi will probably find it difficult to seamlessly jump to the standards of their title rivals, they seem to be a side determined to improve as they’ve kept the bulk of the squad and technical team from last season.

Having only taken over the reins from Giovanni Solinas in December, coach Ernst Middendorp couldn’t do much to avoid the pitfalls towards the end of the season.

Chiefs finished ninth in the Premiership standings – their lowest in 13 years – while minnow’s TS Galaxy, who ply their trade in the National First Division, defeated them in the final of the Nedbank Cup.

Middendorp’s motivation to continue at the helm was to have a full pre-season, and the German tactician got his wish.

And in their league opener on Sunday, his side snatched a 3-2 win over Highlands Park.

“Tough four years for Kaizer Chiefs fans, but such things happen,” said Masilela.

“You can see like Man U (Manchester United), the last time they won the league it was when? They’ve been struggling to even make the top-four.

“People have to be patient and hopefully they’ll get it right soon. It’s not easy, you have other teams that are firing on all cylinders.

“You have Sundowns, they are champions; (Bidvest) Wits are looking good; Pirates, everyone is waiting for them to break the ice it’s going to be an interesting season.”

Masilela was part of a golden generation that won two Premiership titles, the Nedbank Cup and MTN8 trophy in three seasons from 2012-2015, but was released by Chiefs two seasons later as injuries stalled his progress.

However, he admits that he’s still weighing up his options before calling time on his career.