Cape Town - Chippa United defender Mbuyiselo Sambu said his
teammates needed to realign their focus once again and build on the momentum
the club has gathered in the Premiership this season.
Read: Zulu inspired
Before the Telkom Knockout defeat against Platinum Stars
last week, Chippa had produced two consecutive victories in the league and both
those wins were recorded against highly competent and credible opposition.
Sambu said dwelling on a cup defeat against the defending
champions would serve no purpose at this juncture, adding that the long-term
objective of finishing in the top eight of the league standings could still be
“It’s always tough to play Stars, especially at their home
ground. We played well and stuck to the coaches instructions,” Sambu told the
club’s website this week.
“We had two good chances to grab the lead in the first half,
but luck was not on our side. We were unlucky to concede towards the end as the
game could have gone into extra time. It’s not the end of the world as we still
have a lot to play for in the league.”
During the two most recent league matches - against Moroka
Swallows and Orlando Pirates - Chippa did not concede any goals. Sambu said
that this was a critical factor this season, adding that the standards set by
the defensive unit needed to maintain as the season progressed.
"We had to do something to stop conceding and like I
said we were unlucky to concede against Stars."
There has certainly been a paradigm shift at Chippa United
during the past three weeks and that has contributed significantly to the
series of positive results.
"The coach encouraged us to always have numbers when we
are defending. We used to defend in less numbers because our focus was mainly
on attacking, but that has changed now.
"We ensured that we keep the shape at the back at all
times and we must have three of four players defending, that’s what we working
on and it has worked well so far."
"It could be lack of communication or maybe tactical
discipline, maybe the way the coach want his players to play, it could be
something else, but we are trying to plug the gaps in defence to ensure we do not
concede," added Sambu.
The defender added that while there was now a particular
emphasis on defence, scoring was still a priority, as it should be at this
level and added that this facet of the game would not be ignored, despite the
success achieved thus far.
"We also do attacking planning to balance the game
because if you defend too much you invite a lot of pressure, so we had to
combine the two to make sure we have balance when we attack and defend,"
Chippa United are currently seventh on the league standings,
having accumulated 10 valuable points this season and the next assignment will
be a trip to Durban, where they will play against a struggling AmaZulu. The
fixture is another opportunity to collect maximum points and there is little
doubt that Chippa sense Usuthu’s distress.