Kaizer Chiefs miss Steve Komphela, says Orlando Pirates assistant coach Rulani Mokwena

The Bucs coach has taken a dig at Amakhosi ahead of the highly-anticipated Soweto Derby encounter this weekend

Orlando Pirates assistant coach Rhulani Mokwena says Kaizer Chiefs miss Steve Komphela, who spent almost three years at Naturena between 2015 and 2018. 

Komphela resigned as Chiefs head coach towards the end of last season following the club's defeat to Free State Stars in the Nedbank Cup semi-finals. 

Bucs will now face Amakhosi for the first time since the Komphela's departure, and Mokwena feels the Glamour Boys are not the same with the Kroonstad-born mentor. 

“I think there are two ways to look at it, and honestly, for me - and without sounding biased - losing Steve Komphela was a big loss for Chiefs from a technical perspective and the type of leader that he is as well as the tactical acumen that he possesses,” Mokwena told the media.

Komphela was replaced by Italian tactician Giovanni Solinas prior to start of the current campaign. 

“I think in that regard, if you compare the previous team to this team from an organisational perspective, you can clearly see the lack of a coach of that calibre," he continued. 

"Without taking anything away from the current head coach, but I do think with Steve you could see how they played last season and this season, from the minute details, the loss that has taken place,” he said.

Mokwena, who is a former Mamelodi Sundowns assistant coach, worked with Komphela at Platinum Stars when he began his coaching career.

The Bucs technical team member went on to indicate that Chiefs have only improved in terms of new signings.

“In the playing personnel, they have made huge strides. They have improved drastically. The acquisitions that they have made have probably covered for the lack of tactical expertise on the bench that was there last season," he explained. 

"I don’t want to make it sound as if the players that were there last season were not as good as the ones that are there now, but you have even heard Solinas himself say this numerous times. If you bring Khama Billiat, Leonardo Castro and Lebo Manyama to Chiefs then you have made great strides to improve the team. They are obviously going to influence results,” he concluded. 

Article continues below

Chiefs will be looking to avenge the 3-1 defeat they suffered at the hands of Pirates last season.