Former Kaizer Chiefs star Stanton Fredericks believes that ‘Amakhosi’ have what it takes to go all the way to the Caf Champions League final and win it.
Chiefs will face Moroccan giants Wydad Casablanca in the first leg of their Caf Champions League semifinal away from home on Saturday and Fredericks says the Soweto giants have to demonstrate the same type of grit and determination that they have shown in their last few DStv Premiership matches.
“You now need courage to go on – but that does not come from the coaches. Players need to be sitting down, discussing and understanding success on the continent stays with you and the team forever – it becomes part of your legacy,” said Fredericks.
“The importance of this competition is beyond comprehension, you need to understand that when you move into the final stages.”
Fredericks, a winner of the 2001 Caf Cup Winners Cup with Chiefs also feels that the club has an advantage playing the first leg away from home.
“I have always been a fan of playing away first in two-legged ties. In the 2001 Cup Winners Cup Final, we played away first against Inter Luanda. When you play away, you try and not lose – to score is a bonus. I always feel playing away first is an advantage,” he said.
“The difference now is there are no fans and that nullifies the advantage of an away leg and home leg quite a bit.”
The former midfielder who featured in six games in Chiefs’ run to the 2001 CAF Cup Winners Cup also holds the view that Chiefs’ disappointment in losing the title on the last day of the season in 2019/20 will help be a catalyst towards continental success.
“I think the players owe it to themselves. I don’t think it’s about ability, it is about the opportunity. That’s what football gives you – the opportunity to correct your wrongs. This is an opportunity to pay themselves back.
“Chiefs have showed a lot of fight recently and with them getting into the top eight in their last two games shows a lot of grit. They are a side that’s on the up and they all have confidence they need to do well.
“I do believe that they have every chance against the Moroccans, especially with Samir Nurković looking like he is up to the fight. Putting Leonard Castro up there you have physicality and with the experience of Bernard Parker and Lebogang Manyama coming to the party, free-scoring the quality is there.”
Meanwhile, Chiefs confirmed that Arthur Zwane and Dillon Sheppard will continue to sit on the bench while newly appointed coach Stuart Baxter and the club’s administration work on obtaining his work permit.
“Coach Baxter will however travel with the team to the North African country as the team gets ready for the all-important semifinal game against the two-time CAF Champions League winners. The game will take place on Saturday, 19 June with kick-off scheduled for 20:00 in Morocco (21:00 South African Time).”
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By FARPost Reporter