DOCTOR Khumalo, the Kaizer Chiefs assistant coach, wants the league champions to “rubber stamp” the season with victory in the Nedbank Cup final on Saturday.
Amakhosi face SuperSport United in a game that will effectively draw the curtain on the 2012/13 term when it is played out in front of sell-out crowd at the 58,000-seater Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban.
The former Chiefs and Bafana Bafana star is determined to take his team into the break on a high and also give their supporters further reason to celebrate.
“It is important for us to win the trophy on Saturday because we need to keep the smiles on the faces of our faithful fans,” he said on Thursday. “The boys know how important the game is.
“Winning the trophy is water under the bridge at the moment because we have written history already. We just need to rubber-stamp it on Saturday and win will probably take us to the next level. It will be a fantastic gesture.”
Chiefs are the most successful team in the history of the competition having won the title on 12 previous occasions.
But just like the league, which they had last won eight seasons ago, the last time they won South Africa’s biggest cup was way back in 2006.
And their recent form is worrying too – Stuart Baxter’s men failed to win any of their last four league games, with their solitary victory coming in the Nebank Cup semi-final when they won 2-1 against United FC.
During that period, they were also beaten by Ajax Cape Town and University of Pretoria, in their latest outing, and were held to draws by SuperSport and Platinum Stars.
But Khumalo was not worried, saying: “The intensity in the PSL has risen unbelievably and none of the teams in the PSL are easy to play against.
“It doesn’t matter if haven’t won a game in six, the fortunate part is that we are champions. Saturday will be totally different and we’ve prepared differently because it’s a cup game.
“It’s our last hurdle and the boys will want to close on a high.”
He also praised Matsatsantsa coach Gavin Hunt for the work he had done at the Pretoria side, who are playing in their second final this season after reaching the MTN8 final. They also contested the Telkom Knockout semi-finals and were only recently knocked out of the CAF Confederations Cup.
“I must say that Gavin and his technical team have done tremendously well,” he added. “They’ve turned SuperSport into one of the forces in South African football.
“It’s not an easy team to play against. It’s not an easy team to play against, they’ve got good individuals capable of turning the game.”-www.psl.co.za