Richards Bay FC coach Simo Dladla has made some startling revelation about their abrupt end to the Nedbank Cup campaign.
The Natal Rich Boyz lost 2-1 against Chippa United in the quarter-finals at Sisa Dukashe Stadium on 13 March.
Dladla revealed that The Cup of Dreams was not their main goal this season as they wanted to focus on a bigger fish, which is winning promotion to the top-flight.
“To be honest the Nedbank Cup was not on the menu from pre-season we were preparing for the league and we never discussed it, but it was exciting when we started with the play-offs we beat University of Pretoria, who had beaten us in the league.
“Suddenly in the last 32 we were drawn against Kaizer Chiefs, it was exciting and it’s a game that we could not lose because we needed to showcase our talent and our strength as a team and I think we did that, we went there in high spirits we went there to cause an upset and we did it, we quite happy with the result, said Dladla.
He further explained that their last 16 encounter against TS Sporting was a must win, for other reasons other than advancing to the quarters. “The next game was TS Sporting, who had taken a point from us at home, while playing the better part of the match with nine men and for us to fail to beat them was really disappointing. When we drew them in the Nedbank Cup, it was time for us to make amends it was also time for us to show that we are head and shoulders above them and give ourselves mental strength,” continued Dladla.
The outspoken coach revealed that the game against Chippa United was not that significant to them, they did not have to win it. “Then we felt there was no point to prove against Chippa, we that we had run our race in the Nedbank Cup, which was not part of our plans and not important to us, with all due respect to the sponsors, given the number of players that we have. So we felt that we can push the knockout tournament aside and focus on the league of course we did not tell the players to go out and lose, but we decided to take a depleted squad and players that were not playing regular football, just give them an opportunity to show what they can do for the club and they tried their best.
“As the game was going on, I felt like had we brought our regulars, we would have won the match easily and Chippa brought their A team but we matched in terms of conditioning and tactics,” concluded Dladla.
By Wonga Sirayi
FARPost’s KZN Reporter