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COMMENT: Will the Nedbank Cup be enough to save Steve Komphela's job at Kaizer Chiefs?

3:08 AM EDT 3/29/18
Steve Komphela Kaizer Chiefs March 2018
The 50-year-old is under immense pressure to repay the faith shown to him by the management by winning the Nedbank Cup, but will that alone be enough?

With the Nedbank Cup back in action this weekend, the spotlight will again be on Steve Komphela and his Kaizer Chiefs team who host Baroka FC in the quarter-finals. 

Komphela's contract is coming to an end in June, and at this stage, the Nedbank Cup appears to be the only trophy he can possibly win, even though he's still mathematically in the PSL title race. 

Amakhosi have already been linked with several coaches, including Luc Eymael and Nikola Kavazovic, but the management would be tempted to wait and see if Komphela wins the trophy before they can decide his fate. 

Now, what's on everyone's lips is whether or not Komphela will stay if he wins the Nedbank Cup. 

While Komphela has laid a solid foundation since arriving at the club by promoting and giving a few youngsters a chance to showcase their talent, the truth is that coaches will always be judged by the number of trophies they win, especially at a big club like Amakhosi. 

Chiefs are renowned for competing for major trophies on all fronts, but since Komphela joined the club in 2015, the Soweto giants have struggled to return to the top. 

There have been a few promising signs over the past three years of Komphela's tenure where the majority thought the club was heading towards the right direction, but things turn to fall through as soon as Amakhosi fans raise their expectations.

Often than not, Chiefs would win a few matches on the trot, but drop crucial points when they are expected to easily win - this highlights the team's lack of consistency; something which Komphela has not managed to get right since his arrival.

Some would point at Amakhosi's reluctance to sign quality players for Komphela's lack of success, but he had a say on who goes and who comes in, and for that reason, he's partly to blame for agreeing to the wrong decisions the club made in the transfer market during his tenure.

The January transfer window saw Chiefs go all out in securing the services of Leonardo Castro, Siphelele Ntshanagse and Kabelo Mahlasela. They brought in a technical advisor to work hand-in-hand with Komphela in an attempt to win something this season. 

However, looking from the outside, one would conclude that these acquisitions were made very late; six months before the expiry of the coach's contract. 

Had Chiefs shown the same hunger in the transfer market two seasons ago when the likes of Reneilwe Letsholonyane and Reyaad Pieterse among others left, everyone would be singing a different tune, and perhaps there would have been less pressure on Komphela. 

A major trophy after two-and-a-half difficult seasons would usually be enough to save any coach's job, but it doesn't look like the Nedbank Cup will be enough to buy Komphela time at Chiefs.

The fans are already divided on whether or not he's the right man for the job, and it's up to the 50-year-old mentor to silence these critics by winning the trophy even if it's not going to be enough to see him keep his job at Chiefs. 

Ruud Krol delivered trophies at Orlando Pirates in his final season, and some still feel that the club shouldn't have let him go, while Eric Tinkler was unlucky as Bucs head coach and their fans were consistently on his case. 

Tinkler left, and won his maiden trophy (Telkom Knockout Cup) in his first season with Cape Town City, and those who were criticizing him began to recognize him.

He now has two trophies under his belt as head coach; both won since leaving the Sea Robbers, and perhaps Komphela will also get to taste silverware at a club not as big as Chiefs in the near future using all the experience he has gained in his three years at the club.