I would've preferred to have played Sundowns next month, says Kaizer Chiefs coach Giovanni Solinas

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Solinas feels their clash against Sundowns came too early, but he vowed his players will do all they can to defend the Amakhosi badge

Kaizer Chiefs coach Giovanni Solinas has admitted that their game against Mamelodi Sundowns will be tough because the technical team hasn't had enough time to get the combinations right.

Solinas only joined the Glamour Boys three weeks ago, and he only received his work permit on Monday, meaning that he will be on the bench against the Brazilians on Saturday afternoon. 

The Italian mentor watched from the stands as his new team played their pre-season matches over the past three weeks, and he feels watching from distance has its advantages and disadvantages.  

"I know the expectations are very high. It will be a tough game, but we are ready. In football, you need time, because one can’t change too much overnight," Solinas told the Amakhosi website.  

“The advantage of watching the match from the stands is that you have a clearer view of what is happening on the pitch, but the disadvantage is that you are unable to communicate with the technical team and the players, which is sometimes necessary,” he said. 

Solinas will work hand-in-hand with his assistant Patrick Mabedi, whom the club said will stay on as part of the technical team for the 2018/19 season, and the 50-year-old admits that 'four eyes are always better than two'.

The former Free State Stars mentor said he's still busy implementing his philosophy, but warned that it will take time before the results can be seen. 

“Four eyes are always better than two,” said Solinas. 

“I am busy implementing my philosophy of football, which is attacking football. That takes time and that’s a reality. We have to be patient, but I am extremely happy with the attitude, the commitment and the focus of the players at training. We are working hard to improve the tactics, fitness and psychological approach,” he said.

“We played a very attacking football [against Cape Town City] with Leonardo Castro, Khama Billiat, Bernard Parker and Siphiwe Tshabalala all starting, while the full-backs went forward as well. There was also good penetration from the midfield," explained Solinas.

"However, we need to strike an intelligent balance between attacking and defending. What happens in football on the ball is as important as off the ball. We are working hard on all these aspects of the game, including attacking movements. However, as mentioned earlier, this all takes time,” he continued. 

“To prepare a winning team takes time. That’s not an excuse, that’s the nature of football. I know that the supporters want to win trophies and that’s what we all want. That comes with pressure, but that’s not a problem," he added.

Solinas will be under immense pressure to win silverware following Chiefs' three-year trophy drought, but the former ES Setif tactician is unfazed by the expectations.    

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"I am used to pressure. We are working hard to fulfill the fans’ wish to get a trophy. We will fight for our jersey, our colours and our badge to defend our honour,” he said. 

Looking ahead to Saturday's game, Solinas admitted that he would've preferred to have faced Sundowns next month, hinting that his charges are not so ready for the reigning PSL champions. 

“Playing against the reigning champions is never easy. Sundowns started their season early, because they had to play African Champions League games. They are the favourites for this season and they have a fantastic coach in Pitso Mosimane, who leads his team in special ways. I would have preferred to have played them next month, but this is how it is,” concluded Solinas.

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