Although Kaizer Chiefs coach, Gavin Hunt did his best to shield his underperforming team during their lean start to the season, it was inevitable that the pressure was mounting on the players to perform. Chiefs are, though, now enjoying a three-game winning streak that has lifted them out of the doldrums of the relegation zone and back into the top eight.
The upsurge in results has not only been a relief for the notoriously impatient Amakhosi faithful that were becoming increasingly disgruntled with their team’s results, but the mood at Naturena has also lightened over the past week.
“Winning all three games in a row really feels good in terms of how we started the season compared to now. It’s a big difference. We were bottom of the log in the relegation zone. But now having won three games we have moved up the table. It just shows the hard work and effort put in by the whole team has really paid off very well. It really feels good. The spirits are high, even at training, amongst the players,” said Chiefs defender Philani Zulu.
Zulu has played an influential role in Chiefs’ change of fortunes. Previously utilized as an attacking left-sided winger during his time with local club Maritzburg United, the 28-year-old has adapted well to the new defensive left-back role that coach Hunt has earmarked for him.
“Playing at left-back, I have been entrusted with a very hard task. But I just put it upon myself to keep working hard because everyone is needed in the team. The more effort I put in where I am, and with the help of every other player on the field, it makes me want to give more – it’s about me performing to the best of my ability but also helping my teammates,” said Zulu.
Chiefs’ next assignment is a return to the Western Cape to face an ever-improving Stellenbosch FC. Hunt’s team were in Cape Town last week when they claimed all three points in a pulsating 2-1 win over Cape Town City. Zulu is well aware that another tough task awaits them if they are to leave Danie Craven Stadium as victors once more.
“We’re looking forward to carrying on the momentum and winning as many games as we can. Stellenbosch are a very good side. The way they play, the way they keep and control the ball. There are no small and big teams in the PSL. Travelling to Cape Town is never easy, but we’re working on it and we’re doing our best to keep on going,” he said.