Cape Town - Free State Stars head coach Kinnah Phiri expects a composed, complete and comprehensive performance from his side when they face Polokwane City in Limpopo on Saturday.
Victory in the fixture, Ea Lla Kota’s sixth-last of the season, could see Phiri’s charges put distance between themselves and the relegation zone.
In light of this, the former Malawi striker says his side has been focused on two key aspects of their play since suffering a 1-0 defeat to Amazulu in their last game.
“We are working mainly on attack, because we haven’t been scoring goals. We have also been conceding goals that we shouldn’t have, especially from set pieces,” Phiri told the club's website.
“I have just devised a strategy to prevent that. When I coached in Malawi with my previous team, for six years we did not concede a goal from a set piece. I have now brought in that strategy to Free State Stars and the players are very happy with it.
“Apart from the set-piece defence and attacking, we have hardly conceded goals in play. We defend well, except at free kicks.”
Stars were meant to face Ajax Cape Town on Tuesday this week, but the tragic death of striker Richard Henyekane saw the Premier Soccer League postpone the fixture.
The club hosted a touching memorial service for the “Kimberly Express” last week and the players and staff also attended his funeral.
Despite the tragedy, and due to the nature of professional football, the first team has not stopped training during the mourning period.
“The squad has been training. We didn’t slow down and we trained three times last week. This week we are also preparing for the game against Polokwane City,” Phiri said.
“The squad is intact and everybody is working together to make sure we finish these last six games positively.
“We got a psychologist in. He came in to motivate and counsel the players last week. They are in the right mindset now.
“Our training session on Tuesday was very good. The players are saying they are going to honour Richard by fighting relegation.”
Phiri says that his players have shown incredible commitment and professionalism, training well and helping each other to overcome the loss of friend, colleague and mentor Henyekane.