Dangerous when wounded, so the saying goes.
And Golden Arrows coach Mandla Ncikazi knows too well just how true that saying often rings in the beautiful game of football.
It will be with the utmost of care and caution that the Arrows coach will lead his team against a struggling Kaizer Chiefs side on Saturday afternoon (15:30) at Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium.
Amakhosi may be against the ropes but Ncikazi does not want to succumb to the temptation of thinking it will be a walk in the park and go in for the kill as he still sees “danger”.
“We anticipate that our match against Chiefs will be the toughest that we have played thus far, based on the fact that one, they are a big team with quality players, a rich history behind them and the fact that results have not been favourable to them lately,” said Ncikazi.
“I am sure that coach Gavin Hunt who I respect very much will motivate and inspire his team to try and get the points against us.
“If I had a choice I wouldn’t have preferred to play Chiefs at this point in time but the fixture dictates that we meet them on Saturday afternoon,” added Ncikazi.
Surely the Abafana Bes’thende mentor should fancy his team’s chances of success against opponents who have lost three matches out of five – struggling to score goals and unable to bring in new players due to their Fifa transfer ban?
“What looks obviously is not obvious, for me I see danger, Kaizer Chiefs is still a good team. I see danger and we must be careful as a team. Results might not come their way right now but they are still the best team.
“I don’t want us to take Chiefs’ situation as a disaster, there’s no disaster there. There’s still a good team. Other teams are worse off. I don’t think we must look at Chiefs and feel sorry,” insists the Arrows coach.
“Maybe it’s a transition from the change of coaches and soon Gavin Hunt will change the team and be very tough to beat. I just hope it doesn’t start against us.”
Arrows have started the 2020/21 season with promise as they are fifth on the DStv Premiership log with five points after a win and two draws in their opening three matches.
“The encouraging part on our side is the fact that our team is in a good space, highly confident and have the belief, we trust our processes and plans based on how we have prepared for this match and I am highly optimistic that we shall get the positive results on Saturday afternoon,” concluded Ncikazi.
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By Tokelo Martin Mokhesi
All pictures courtesy of Golden Arrows