Phiri plots Chippa’s downfall

Phiri plots Chippa’s downfall
Gallo Images

Gallo Images

Free State Stars coach Kinnah Phiri has cited defensive improvements and increased motivation as the reasons for his side’s three-match winning streak.

Ea Lla Kota recorded a 3-2 victory over Polokwane City and 1-0 wins over Ajax Cape Town and Bidvest Wits to climb away from the ABSA Premiership relegation zone.

Though survival may seem secured, Stars have no intention of resting on their laurels and Phiri says he expects further improvements in the remaining games.

“We are very motivated now. The set piece defence has also improved a lot. We have gone three games without conceding from a free kick or corner,” he said.

“We have worked very hard on several departments and facets of the game and now we just need to improve the shooting.”

Stars hosts Chippa United at Goble Park in their next fixture on Saturday, in what may be a tougher test than it seems on paper.

The Port Elizabeth side hover just above the relegation zone, leading ahead of 15th-placed AmaZulu by five points with three rounds of matches left to play.

While Stars will be determined to continue their winning streak and push into the top eight of the table, Chippa will be motivated by an intense desire for survival.

Phiri may be aware of those factors, but is still certain his side are in a strong position to pick up another win.

“The team is in good shape and the only player missing will be the captain, Paulus Masehe, who received a red card against Wits,” he said.

“After that result, the players should be very confident heading into the match against Chippa. We are expecting a very good performance.”

Supersport United, who hold eighth place, will also be in action on Saturday against AmaZulu – another side motivated by the desperate fear of relegation.

Usuthu have won twice, drawn once and lost narrowly to newly-crowned league champions Kaizer Chiefs in their last four games, and should provide a stern test for Supersport.

Stars need (and expect) Supersport to drop points in the final three rounds if they are to climb into the top eight, meaning a victory for AmaZulu could be celebrated in Bethlehem as well as Durban.

Article:Madoda Ntuli

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