Promis­ing Tshakhuma on re­demp­tion path

African Times - - Front Page - MOYAHABO MABEBA

WHEN Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila (TTM) own­ers roped in Sello Chokoe as head coach, they ex­pressed con­fi­dence in the stocky but master tac­ti­cian to trans­form the Lim­popo side into a for­mi­da­ble jug­ger­naut.

His strate­gic in­tel­li­gence in the dugout will be un­der scru­tiny again on Satur­day when Vhadau Vha Da­mane wel­come Royal Ea­gles at the Giyani sta­dium in the Na­tional First Di­vi­sion (NFD) en­counter at 15:30pm.

Chokoe, who had stints with Baroka FC and Black Leop­ards, crafted plan that has seen TTM go­ing six matches with­out a loss un­til last week­end’s un­ex­pected 3-0 drub­bing by Mbombela United.

Fol­low­ing a hap­haz­ard pre-sea­son prepa­ra­tion, they started their cam­paign slowly but man­aged to turn the ta­bles around.

Their away de­feat over on Sun­day rel­e­gated them to the eighth spot, but Chokoe says he is still hope­ful for a top-four fin­ish.

“Quite frankly, it was not easy when I was ap­pointed coach at this team. At the be­gin­ning we had a short-term plan of mak­ing sure we set­tle as quickly as pos­si­ble be­cause we didn’t want to find our­selves at the wrong end of the log.

“It was al­ways go­ing to be dif­fi­cult, es­pe­cially for a new team. When other teams were in pre-sea­son train­ing, we were still look­ing for play­ers and that af­fected us in a way.

“If it wasn’t for that stress­ful pre­sea­son sit­u­a­tion, our po­si­tion on the log would be bet­ter than where we are now. How­ever, with the re­cent per­for­mance, I am pleased that we will fin­ish the sea­son with an im­pres­sive record.”

In­deed, TTM have been im­pres­sive in their maiden cam­paign in the sec­ond tier of SA foot­ball, un­less they slip at a cru­cial stage.

Chokoe said he has al­ready cau­tioned his charges not to be com­pla­cent, say­ing that could have dire con­se­quences.

“Ev­ery time ahead of a game, I re­mind the play­ers to treat such a league match as if it’s a cup fi­nal. For­tu­nately, they have ears and can lis­ten.

“My play­ers needed time to gel and as a coach you need to get your phi­los­o­phy right to get your play­ers to un­der­stand how you want them to play as a com­bat­ive unit.

“But for me, I think we have pro­gressed and I’m very, very happy with the play­ers that we have signed. It shows that we have signed qual­ity play­ers al­though we didn’t have enough time to get play­ers that we wanted.

“But the play­ers that we brought in have shown that they are of good qual­ity,” he said.

Chokoe re­vealed that he is plan­ning to bol­ster his squad in Jan­uary, hop­ing that he can nav­i­gate the team to the Absa Premier­ship.

“You can­not be sat­is­fied with what you have. You al­ways want to have the best of the best. That is why, come Jan­uary we need to re­in­force the team and push for pro­mo­tion,” he said.

Though they will be fac­ing a strug­gling side on Satur­day, Chokoe said they will not treat Royal Ea­gles lightly.

“We will not make such a mis­take. We are go­ing into this match with our A-Game. We in­tend to un­leash a full brunt of as­sault on them and that’s what they will get on Satur­day,” he reck­oned.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.