Johannesburg - Platinum Stars coach Allan Freese aims to put Kaizer Chiefs on the back foot and take advantage of playing at home at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium, in the first leg of the MTN8 semi-final on Saturday.
“We play at home first, so to have any chance of progressing, we have to get a good result at home,” Freese said in Johannesburg on Thursday.
“First game, we hope to get a good result so that when we do go away, we can see what happens but we will aim for a positive result first.”
The defending top eight champions head into the clash on the back of a morale-boosting 2-1 league victory over Free State Stars at home on Wednesday, making amends for the loss on the opening weekend of the Premiership season.
The Stars home turf has become a fortress of sorts for the team and starting with a win against the early Premiership pace-setters would be a boost at this stage of the campaign.
Dikwena would be aiming to defend their title after being spurred by their opening round victory over big-spending Mamelodi Sundowns.
“It’s good to win things and also to defend things. I wouldn’t like us to be sitting and watching, we like to be in the draw whenever there is a draw “Chiefs have been doing well now. We’ve watched them play more, so it gives us a better opportunity to plan for the game.”
Particularly worrying for Freese at the start of the season was the departure of a number of key players, who had helped Stars maintain a respectable league position last season.
Issa Sarr, Henrico Botes, Lindokuhle Mbatha and Benson Mhlongo and left for greener pastures at the end of last season.
The exodus left Freese in a race against time to find suitable replacements and re-build last season’s double cup-winning squad.
“It’s not easy when you lose players, but it’s part of this game. When you lose one, you have to and look for somebody who can fit the positions of the players that have left, so that you don’t notice a difference,” Freese said.
Stars are once again less fancied for the semi-final against the Soweto giants who qualified after they walloped Mpumalanga Black Aces 4-0.
But a determined Freese is adamant he has a team capable of competing against the best.
“There’s nothing stopping us from challenging for the league. There’s no difference whether you want to challenge for the league or if you want to play well for the cup.”