Bartlett reckons Mabedi’s experience as head coach will help guide Amakhosi in avoiding their third loss in a row
As they are set to host Maritzburg United at the FNB Stadium in their penultimate Premier Soccer League (PSL) tie, Kaizer Chiefs must guard against suffering their third loss in a row in all competitions.
According to former Amakhosi striker Shaun Bartlett, who spoke to Goal regarding the state of affairs at Naturena.
The Bafana Bafana legend believes the caretaker coach Patrick Mabedi has the qualities of leading the club as they hope to finish the season on a high.
Bartlett said the fact that the former Malawian international has experience as a head coach puts him in a good position to inspire confidence in the team.
Mabedi was installed as interim coach on Monday after Steve Komphela’s resignation last weekend following their 2-0 loss to Free State Stars in the Nedbank Cup semi-finals.
However, in his first match on the touchline alongside Arthur Zwane, Chiefs lost 3-1 to Golden Arrows in the league on Tuesday night.
Although the Soweto giants want to qualify for a spot in Caf competitions by finishing as number three, the former Cape Town Spurs hitman said that should not be a priority for now.
“Yeah I think he knows it is never easy to coach a big club as they wrap up a season that has not gone according to their plans,” he told Goal.
“First thing for him is to let the players know that they are playing for their futures, we know they did not have a great season and they will possibly make changes next season – so players must work hard so that they stay at the club,” said the Cape Town-born tactician.
“For the players, they must impress the caretaker coach and the only way is to perform for the coach. Mabedi has been a head coach before, at All Stars and he is experienced,” explained the 45-year-old.
“He is not in an unfamiliar position or role. He picks the players if confidence is the problem and ensures they win their remaining matches,” added Bartlett.
Speaking about players such as Erick Mathoho, Itumeleng Khune and Siphiwe Tshabalala, the current University of Pretoria coach said senior players have a huge role to play as they want to return to winning ways.
“Yeah hopefully these guys will rally around him (Mabedi) as far as turning things around,” he added.
“For example a guy like ‘Shabba’, he has spent 10 years already and they must tell the young guys what it is to play for such a big club,” reacted the former Colorado Rapids forward.
“I am sure no player goes out to lose a match and that means the supporters must continue rallying behind the team,” said Bartlett.
“It was sad to see what happened last weekend and their lives were at risk, but they must just focus and I am sure the fans have also accepted that it hasn’t been the best season,” he noted.
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“Yes people talk about securing a spot in the Caf competition, but I would like to see them returning to winning ways, finishing up there and ensure they plan properly for next season because that will definitely distract their plans if they want to win trophies and focusing in the continent,” he concluded.
Amakhosi sit fourth on the league table with 42 points, one point behind the Team of Choice and both will challenge for a spot in the top three.