Home Sport Still ‘something to play for’ for Chiefs in PSL

Still ‘something to play for’ for Chiefs in PSL

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The next two games are crucial for Chiefs as they need the six points to consolidate their top-eight finish, which guarantees qualification for the MTN8 next season.

Ranga Chivaviro of Kaizer Chiefs challenged by Mahlangu Macbeth, Thato Khiba and Samukelo Kabini of TS Galaxy. Picture: Muzi Ntombela, BackpagePix

Mihlali Baleka

Ranga Chivaviro had a lump in his throat when he assessed his debut season at Kaizer Chiefs, but he’s confident he can finish the campaign on a high.

Chivaviro was a subject of interest in the local top-flight last season, after guiding Marumo Gallants to the CAF Confederation Cup final, thanks to a seven-goal tally.

But he could do nothing to save the team from being relegated to the second tier despite scoring 10 goals in 19 DStv Premiership games.

Chiefs bid for his signature at the end of the season, with Chivaviro forming part of coach Molefi Ntseki’s new-look side.

Chivaviro spent more time in the medical room than on the training pitch during pre-season, though, something that limited his adaptation.

“Obviously when I arrived here, I was injured,” he said on Thursday ahead of Chiefs’ penultimate league game against Polokwane City at the FNB Stadium on Saturday afternoon (3pm kick-off).

“I was playing catch-up as I didn’t have a pre-season with the rest of the team.

“But things are starting to fall into place now because I am getting into that match-fitness space. Yeah, I hope (my form) doesn’t end before the season ends.”

A lot has happened since Chivaviro joined his team, with the Amakhosi also appointing Cavin Johnson as Ntseki’s replacement after a string of poor results.

Johnson hasn’t got the best out of the Limpopo-born striker, who’s managed to score only four goals in 18 games in the league.

Chivaviro knows that he could have done better.

“It’s quite clear: I wish I had scored more. But it’s always a process,” the 31-year-old said. “I have four (goals) now; hopefully by the time the season ends, I will be on six or seven.”

The next two games are crucial for Chiefs as they need the six points to consolidate their top-eight finish, which guarantees qualification for the MTN8 next season.

And with Chiefs’ next game against Polokwane at the FNB Stadium on Saturday, they can’t afford to slip up. Rise and Shine are ninth on the log with 35 points.

“Personally, I feel we have under-achieved as a club,” Chivaviro reflected on their season. “We didn’t manage to reach the targets that we wanted.

“But with that being said, we still have something to play for.

“As this will be our last home game, we want to end it on a high and win the game. We also want to secure the top-eight spot.”

With Chiefs having failed to consolidate their leads in the last two games – the 2-2 and 1-1 draws with TS Galaxy and AmaZulu – Chivaviro is confident their fortunes will change at the Calabash.

“It will be a very important game for us to win, and I am sure that we are going to win it,” Chivaviro said.

“We know what’s at stake … We want to finish in a respectable position, and that’s in the top eight.”

The last two games are also expected to be the last for Johnson at the club, given that he struggled to grab the audition for a permanent role by the scruff of the neck.

And while a new coach could bring a breath of fresh air to Chiefs’ fortunes, Chivaviro knows that he might not be the new man’s cup of tea – but he’s not worried.“

I think we are professionals, and we know that in our line of work, that’s (the change of coaches) part of the job,” Chivaviro said.

“Our job is to just continue doing what professionals do and give our best to the biggest stakeholders of this club, which are the fans. Give back to our families and friends as well.”

Saturday’s Premiership Fixtures (all 3pm kick-offs)

Kaizer Chiefs vs Polokwane City, Sekhukhune United vs AmaZulu, Royal AM vs Chippa United, TS Galaxy vs Orlando Pirates, SuperSport United vs Moroka Swallows, Stellenbosch FC vs Mamelodi Sundowns, Cape Town City vs Richards Bay, Golden Arrows vs Cape Town Spurs

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