Despite being dethroned in the Kabelano Charity Cup on Saturday night, Mochudi Centre Chiefs head coach Mike Sithole praised his charges for their performance.
He said the games helped him to analyse the areas they needed to improve ahead of the Premier League kick off this weekend.
Chiefs succumbed to a 5-4 defeat on post-match penalties to blood rivals Township Rollers in a pulsating final played at the National Stadium. The sides were deadlocked at 1-1 at fulltime.
Earlier in the day, Chiefs narrowly beat Gaborone United 2-1 in the semi-final. Sithole said there were so many positives from the tournament.
“Honestly, I was a bit worried about our defence going into the tournament. We had new players (Willbroad Mutale and Keabetswe Jenamiso) and they have never played together. I thought they were going to break easily but they stood their ground. I think they communicated and I think going forward they can do better than on the day,” he said.
Jenamiso joined Chiefs from ECCO City Greens while Mutale is a former player of Kabwe Warriors in Zambia.
Sithole added that there would be need for his side to add more defenders.
“I think this week we’ll finalise a number of deals and then I’ll say we’re ready for the job ahead. Though we lost to Rollers, it was nice to see the boys showing character. They fought together as a team and as a coach that is what you need,” he said.┬á
Chiefs are expected to finalise the return of veteran defender Tshepo Motlhabankwe, midfielders Dirang Moloi and Phenyo Mongala to their squad.
“I don’t have any complaints with our midfield and strikeforce. We have enough quality and if we add Dirang and Phenyo then we’ll be able to compete,” Sithole said.
Chiefs’ publicity officer, Clifford Mogomotsi, shared the same sentiments with his coach. He said that after the team lost four players, it was important to see how the new players fit into their system.
Chiefs lost the services of influential Zimbabwean duo Elvis Meleka and Arnold Chaka, who have returned to their homeland; striker Patrick Lenyetse has teamed up with Orapa United while young defender Thabiso Khunwane has crossed over to Gaborone United.
“It was important to see the new players and I believe that they played well. We needed to start afresh and I’m happy that the tournament has given us a chance to see where we need to patch,” said Mogomotsi.
The Chiefs’ spokesperson further praised the supporters for attending the game in large numbers. He pointed out that the supporters contribute immensely to the performance of the team.
“This season the supporters need to follow the team wherever it goes. They have seen what we have in store for them and I’m happy with the positive response we got from the weekend,” said Mogomotsi.
Chiefs take on Extension Gunners in a season opener at Lobatse Stadium on Saturday.