We must 'look to the future'
Johannesburg - Kaizer Chiefs coach Vladimir Vermezovic, on Wednesday warned his players to keep their feet firmly on the ground when they face PSL champions SuperSport United in the first round of the Nedbank Cup at the Rand Stadium on Sunday.
Kick-off is at 15:00
Vermezovic led Amakhosi to their first trophy this season when they won the Telkom Knockout last weekend, defeating defending champions Ajax Cape Town 2-1 in the final played in Durban.
“It was fantastic winning the Knockout, especially for me because it was my first cup triumph since joining Chiefs at the start of the season.
"The players and myself have celebrated but that is over and we must look to the future.”
Vermezovic said he was not worried about playing his fifth consecutive away match. “At every venue we played in the Knockout about 80% of the supporters were ours. So we are not concerned about another away match.”
The Serbian coach, however, has plenty of respect for SuperSport who have won the PSL championship for the past three seasons and have beaten Chiefs twice in the league this season.
“SuperSport are a quality side and in my opinion striker Anthony Laffor and winger Daine Klate are their danger men.”
But the Chiefs coach will be working on neutralising United’s ability to score form set pieces: “We all know that set pieces are SuperSport’s strength and we will try and counter that.”
Vermezovic said he had three players under the weather with flu that has hit the camp. Struggling are strikers Nkosinathi Nhleko, Tshepo Bulu and midfielder Michael Nkambule.
Vermezovic also lavished praise on veteran goalkeeper Arthur Bartman who was signed at the start of the season when number one choice, Itumeleng Khune, was injured.
“In my opinion Bartman, on current form, is the best goalkeeper in South Africa. Khune is still number one, but will have to work hard when he returns form Bafana Bafana to get his place back.”
Khune is in Germany training with Bafana in preparation for the World Cup in June. Said Bartman: “My confidence is sky high. It was a fantastic feeling lifting the Knockout trophy last Saturday night.”
Chiefs midfield dynamo, Tinashe Nenomasha, said SuperSport would be tougher opponents than Ajax. “This will be the toughest game of the season and I agree with the coach and Bartman we must forget the Knockout and concentrate on SuperSport.”