Chiefs back to work after win

2010-12-05 14:56

Johannesburg - Kaizer Chiefs, who successfully defended their Telkom Knockout title on Saturday, will not be allowed to get too carried away after their incredible 3-0 slaughter of arch rivals Orlando Pirates at the FNB Stadium.

The players were set to return straight back to work on Sunday, according to Amakhosi head coach Vladimir Vermezovic.

"The players can party and celebrate all they want tonight but by Sunday morning we need to get our heads right for the challenges ahead," Vermezovic said.

"I do not mind if they come straight from the party to training, but we need to refocus on our next challenge and that is our league match away to Free State Stars on Saturday."

Last month at the same venue Amakhosi outplayed the Buccaneers 3-1 in a league clash, and Vermezovic believes beating Pirates back-to-back could propel Chiefs to their first Premiership title since 2005.

"We could win the league. Why not? But a lot will depend on our next three matches this month and on January 8 when we play log leaders Mamelodi Sundowns," he said.

"There is still a long season ahead and a lot can happen. I am not predicting anything yet.

"Let me just savour retaining the Knockout cup for the moment."

The Serbian coach said he was thrilled at being a part of history, securing the same title twice in one year.

"This is the first time that a team has won a trophy and defended it in the same calendar year," he said.

Due to the staging of the World Cup in June and July, the Premier League was shortened last season to help Bafana Bafana prepare for the global showpiece. Chiefs won last season's Knockout cup in April this year.

Chiefs made more history by winning the competition for a stunning 13th time since it was launched in 1992. This was their 16th final and underlines Amakhosi's pedigree as the undisputed cup kings of SA soccer.

Chiefs put the Buccaneers to the sword as easily as the scoreline suggests in a one sided final, but Vermezovic was gracious in victory.

"I think the score was too high. Pirates are still our biggest opponents in South Africa," he said.

Vermezovic, whose side were beaten 3-2 by lowly Vasco da Gama in a league fixture at the FNB Stadium last weekend, was at a loss to explain the complete turnaround in performance against Pirates.

The Chiefs coach said his players needed no special motivation when facing the Buccaneers.

"For ten days before playing Pirates my players are already hyped up and keen to play," he said.

"I do not understand the mentality of the players in this regard, but I tried to explain we cannot play Pirates every week.

"Tonight, however, I thought we played really well and deserved to retain the cup. I am delighted with the players and their big effort.

"Now we need to keep it up and try and win the league."

Vermezovic praised strikers Sthembiso Ngcobo, who scored a brace, and Knowledge Musona.

"We know Musona is star quality and gets better every week," he said.

"As for Ngcobo, for me this was his best game since he joined us (at the start of the season) and he formed a deadly combination with Musona which was great to watch."