We are only a week into the domestic football season, and already there is added pressure on new Kaizer Chiefs head coach Giovanni Solinas.
Despite drawing first blood in their difficult Premier Soccer League opener against Mamelodi Sundowns at Loftus Versfeld last weekend, Amakhosi had to settle for a 1-1 draw against the defending champions, while they were outplayed by Bidvest Wits in a midweek match, losing 3-1.
Pressure is nothing new for a Chiefs coach. The fans and management demand favourable results, and if a coach cannot produce, then they are out. The Glamour Boys have gone three years without a major trophy, so patience is wearing thin at Naturena.
Chiefs players will have to find their mojo quickly to ease the pressure on their Italian coach. They face the tricky Free State Stars in a must-win MTN8 quarterfinal tonight, and play away league fixtures against the youthful and mobile Baroka FC and Maritzburg United in the space of three days next week.
Solinas, 50, appears to have the right attitude. “Every coach‚ every player that comes here to Kaizer Chiefs needs to understand‚ needs to accept that pressure.
“Our job is to close the pressure because this is a big club that has got high expectations from the fans.”
For the Glamour Boys and 50-year-old Solinas’ sake, we can only hope that he can back up his words.