Off-form Kaizer Chiefs best be wary of Steve Komphela's Celtic
Following an eventful Tuesday night, who knows what will be in the offing when Wednesday sees Steve Komphela and Eric Tinkler take on the clubs who fired them during last season...
Kaizer Chiefs have started this season with just a single victory in six matches in all competitions and none in the league, so the last club they would want to face right now is high-flying Bloemfontein Celtic -- coached by Komphela. The visitors to FNB Stadium have won all three of their matches under Komphela (who left Amakhosi back in late April), which amounts to a dream start on his return to the Free State -- his birth province.
Celtic have yet to concede a goal and claimed a 1-0 win over Pirates in their last match, with confidence flowing through the club after years of fighting at the wrong end of the table -- nevermind the ongoing state of limbo regarding Max Tshabalala's ownership.
Komphela's exit from Chiefs towards the end of last season came after three barren years and violence from fans in their Nedbank Cup semifinal loss to Free State Stars.
He often felt undervalued at the club and if anybody has a point to prove about what they perceived to be a raw deal, it is Komphela as another win at Chiefs would be the sweetest of moments, even if he is unlikely to ever say that publicly.
The coach says that the pressure will be off his side as despite their good start to the campaign, nobody expects them to win.
"Things you don't want to say are that when you play Chiefs, Pirates and Sundowns, logic dictates that the expectations are that they have to win," Komphela was quoted by Kick Off.
"So it is good to play them because they're not your direct competitors, it's not a direct confrontation. So when you play against them and you get good results it builds your character, it helps your confidence.
"If the opposite happened again, you can still say, 'No, listen, we have our own competitors or our counterparts, or teams of our stature or calibre that we can compete against'.
"So when you play Chiefs, Pirates or Sundowns, it's easier. When you get results, it's tops."
Komphela is also not getting carried away by his side's start to the season.
"The objectives as a coach, you don't change them because of a result over 90 minutes.
"But as it is, the players we currently have are good enough to take Celtic to a position that is quite respectable. This is football, you never know what'll happen."
In other matches on Wednesday, new Chippa United coach Eric Tinkler will debut against the team he left in March as he takes his side to improving SuperSport United -- now coached by his former assistant Kaitano Tembo.
Current table-toppers Bidvest Wits host AmaZulu, while Cape Town City are at Free State Stars, who have made a sluggish start to the new season.
Baroka host new-boys Highlands Park and Lamontville Golden Arrows entertain Polokwane City.