United out to upset defending champions
3 August 2015
The pressure will be on Kaizer Chiefs when they square up to Maritzburg United in an MTN8 quarter-final clash at the FNB Stadium on Wednesday night.
Chiefs are the defending MTN8 champions, as well as the 2014/ 2015 Absa Premiership champions, while the Team of Choice will be competing in their first ever top eight competition.
Maritzburg head coach Mandla Ncikazi finds himself up against Steve Komphela, who departed Pietermaritzburg for Chiefs during the off-season, the pair having worked together last season.
Ncikazi beliebves that playing Chiefs so early in the season – this will be Komphela’s first official game in charge – could enable United to cause an upset.
“We should be ready for Kaizer Chiefs. We will be the surprise package. Komphela knows what to expect from me and I also know what to expect from him. This is the right time to play Kaizer Chiefs because Steve Komphela hasn’t settled,” Ncikazi said.
Ncikazi is also be going into his first official match as the Team of Choice head coach, and will be hoping to get off to a positive start.
"It's a really rare opportunity to be given to assistant coaches. Normally a club prefers someone from outside,” he said. "It doesn’t often happen that someone from within gets such a job because we have a lot of challenges.
"We share the same vision and philosophy, so not much is going to change. But obviously I'm not going to try to be like Steve. If I do so, I will be setting myself up for failure.”
Komphela meanwhile admits he’ll be feeling a certain amount of pressure on Wednesday.
“In this game pressure is everywhere. As defending champions pressure will be there. The MTN 8 will set the tone for the season. It will determine how our preparations went.
"Very interesting [match], I was part of their [Maritzburg’s] DNA. It will be interesting to see how they come at us. I helped them build a winning team now, I have to beat them," he said.
New signing, Manti Moholo, on the match:
"I have noticed their defence is not strong enough and we have to capitalise in terms of counter-attack; they are not as quick and they have many injuries as well,” Moholo told Kick Off.
"He has coached me at Free Stars, so I know his thinking and what he wants to do, and I think all of us are [aware].
"As players we want to spoil the party for him, and why not on this big occasion? That will lay down our own mark."