Despite their 3-0 loss against Chippa United on Saturday afternoon at the FNB Stadium, Kaizer Chiefs coach Steve Komphela stood by his players and decided to take responsibility for the club’s misfortunes.
Not for the first time, the Amakhosi boss said he cannot fault his players when the supporters pelted his technical bench with missiles after a lacklustre showing at the Calabash.
Komphela said he cannot be emotional when fans called for his axing as they waited for his exit and threw bottles at him after the league defeat.
The Soweto giants’ football manager Bobby Motaung was also under pressure from the Glamour Boys’ faithful as they questioned his running of the club.
However in changing his tune, Komphela said Motaung must not be blamed for the loss, but the playing personnel of which he initially said was not accountable for bringing unhappiness to the supporters.
Speaking exclusively to Goal, legendary goalkeeper and former Amakhosi coach, Joseph Setlhodi, believes Komphela has been too lenient on his players.
The 70-year-old said the former Chiefs skipper is afraid of giving a tongue lashing to his charges because he wants them to play for him..
“In my opinion, the anger has been contained for too long and the reaction from the supporters was long overdue," he told Goal.
"The supporters have waited for so long to see results and they have had enough and sadly, there is no explanation you can give in such situations," he added.
“There has been a lot of hiding and running away from the reality, and they felt this is the time to vent their anger," reacted the legend.
"I think they have a right to express their dissatisfaction, but in a right platform and way because that will demoralize the players," he continued.
"The only way to talk to them is to wait to see them calm and then engage them ,listen to them and find a solution,” noted the former coach.
Speaking about the fans frustrations and the fact that Amakhosi were reduced to mere pedestrians on the park, the man also known as 'Banks' said the supporters have made it clear they do not want he coach.
“The supporters have been shouting for him to go, they do not believe he is the right man for the job at Chiefs," added the Randfontein-born net minder.
"You can see they way they play, they fail to convert the chances they create until they get set pieces, but I am one of the people who said Steve must be given an opportunity to build what he started," added the retired player.
"I sometimes see the players just want to finish the 90 minutes and go home, it seems they don’t want to play for the club and the badge anymore," observed Banks.
"That is worrying for me, I saw them yesterday, they did not offer anything and in my view, the coach has no capacity to talk to them, lash at them because that is not how Chiefs players deliver on the field," lamented Setlhodi.
"Steve is scared of doing that because he wants them to play for him, he has protected in many instances yet they fail to give the desired result –it doesn't work like that," expressed the keeper.
“ I don’t see anything exciting at Chiefs nowadays, there’s nothing to write about and sadly, most of the players have not won cups - they don’t know how to fight for trophies," said the former South Africa Black XI keeper.
"You can mention the likes of (Itumeleng) Khune, Shabba (Siphiwe (Tshabalala) and others, three players cannot carry the team on their shoulders," he rued.
"Although Steve knows his head is on the block, he cannot always take the blame, he must rise and up and tell his players, it is enough – if you do not deliver, you will be dropped to the bench," advised the man who played for Chiefs for 446 times.
On his message to the supporters, the legend said what transpired at the 2010 Fifa World Cup venue was not a true reflection of the Peace and Loving fans.
“We don’t want what happened yesterday and I think it’s about 45 years now since it happened, this must stop because the supporters have the right channels to express their displeasure,” he reacted.
“Yes, they lost to Chippa but the league was long gone in my view, Chiefs were not in contention to win – let’s be honest," said Setlhodi.
“However, the behaviour is not the right one from the fans of a big club, we don’t know these things and they must stop it," he said.
“I am not a Chiefs supporter, I do not pay and travel all around the country to watch, I understand how thy feel because it is all about bragging rights at work or at home – but they must follow the right channels from branch level until a meeting with the club’s management, doors and gates are always open at Naturena," continued Setlhodi.
"There is an opportunity to reach the final of the Nedbank Cup but what happened yesterday could kill the players in terms of mental ability to carry on with their duties," said the ex-Glamour Boy.
"The incident could damage the players especially as they want to finish the season with a trophy…but for the coach to get the right response from his players, he must just tell them it’s either you shape up or ship out," he pleaded.
"There are many missed chances, ball possession and passes lost easily and you cannot mention the fact we concede soft goals – it’s unacceptable at such a big club,” concluded the legend.
Amakhosi are set to welcome Platinum Stars at the same venue next weekend before their Ke Yona Cup semi-finals clash against Free State Stars on April 21 at Moses Mabhida Stadium.