Ige­sund backs Chiefs for glory

SIGNS: MID­DEN­DORP ON RIGHT TRACK

The Citizen (Gauteng) - - FRONT PAGE - Si­bongiseni Gumbi

Gor­don Ige­sund, a for­mer championsh­ip-win­ning coach with Manning Rangers, San­tos, Or­lando Pi­rates and Mamelodi Sun­downs, be­lieves Kaizer Chiefs are on the right track to end their long pe­riod of suf­fer­ing with­out tro­phies. He says the way the team have started their league cam­paign is im­pres­sive con­sid­er­ing that they had such a rough ride in the past few years.

“If you look at how they have strug­gled in the last few years you can see that a lot was done to change the men­tal­ity in the team. They went from be­ing a team who are down and nearly out to be­com­ing a for­mi­da­ble league con­tender in the space of a few months,” Ige­sund told Phakaaathi. Ige­sund be­lieves Ernst Mid­den­dorp’s ex­pe­ri­ence with rel­e­ga­tion-threat­ened teams in the past must have come in handy in en­abling him to know how to deal with de­mo­ti­vated play­ers and make them be­lieve in them­selves again so that they can ac­tu­ally still be chal­leng­ing for ti­tles.

“The way he has man­aged the play­ers has been im­pres­sive. He has made them want to play to win. You can see that all they want is to play and win games.

“They have that hunger that you see when your team are about to win the league.

“It is the kind of feel­ing that you sense some­thing big is about to hap­pen, and I think I can see that in the cur­rent Chiefs team,” added the for­mer Bafana Bafana men­tor.

The 63-year-old says the hard­est part now for Amakhosi is to try not to get ahead of them­selves, but to con­tinue go­ing at it one game at a time.

Chiefs are on a seven-game win­ning run in the Absa Premiershi­p ahead of this week­end’s match against Bloem­fontein Celtic, who they host at Moses Mab­hida Sta­dium in Dur­ban on Satur­day night.

Mid­den­dorp’s side have a 10 point lead over Su­perS­port United and Mamelodi Sun­downs at the top of the ta­ble, hav­ing played a game less than Su­perS­port United, and a game more than Mamelodi Sun­downs.

Bid­vest Wits could move within three points of Sun­downs if they win all four of their out­stand­ing games in hand, but it is far bet­ter to have points al­ready on the board.

Ige­sund said if Chiefs can fin­ish the first half of the cam­paign hold­ing onto such an im­pres­sive lead, he doesn’t be­lieve any­thing can stop them from go­ing all the way to win­ning a first Absa Premieship league ti­tle since 2015 and end the fans’ suf­fer­ing.

Pic­ture: Back­pagepix

GOR­DON IGE­SUND

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