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Kaizer Chiefs must learn from Orlando Pirates struggles – Dos Santos

12:08 PM EDT 8/30/19
Erick Mathoho Kaizer Chiefs,  August 2019
The former Amakhosi striker has praised the club’s resurgence and credits the players for their hunger to turn things around

Retired Kaizer Chiefs midfielder Sergio Dos Santos has credited the club’s turnaround strategy and their camaraderie in the camp during their four-match unbeaten run.

Amakhosi have enjoyed their best Premier Soccer League (PSL) start as they have collected three wins plus a draw in their 2019/20 PSL season so far.

Although many have praised the Glamour Boys' fine form, Dos Santos has warned the club, using Orlando Pirates as a reference since things could go wrong quickly.

“I think you can see a big difference now and most importantly the movement of the players on and off the ball. That is a very big improvement and that reminds me of Chiefs under Stuart [Baxter],” Dos Santos told Goal.

“They can play as a unit when they have the ball and they get to be tight and compact when they lose it, they compete for the ball and attack in numbers – that is good so far and that is much better,” he added.

When asked whether the difference has been brought in by new players such as Samir Nurkovic or because of the hunger from the players, the Brazilian-born legend answered.

“It’s certainly the players and you can see the difference from last year, for example, the players were all over the place, there was no cohesion but they played only individual patterns,” he continued.

“I think they are now working as a unit, competitive, hungry and are willing to play good football. I think we can also mention that there is a good relationship in the camp, the players are fighting for each other - they play as a unit and the competition is much higher now,” he expressed.

Speaking about how to maintain consistency as the Soweto giants sit at the summit of the log table with 10 points and a single draw, the 69-year-old stated it’s an easy job for the technical team because the players are in high spirits.

“I have no doubt that the coaches will keep the team busy and based on what I have seen so far, the players will look forward to the next day in training,” he noted.

“I am sure they will play a few practice matches even though it will not be competitive games, but that will help them to remain nice and fit.

“The break will definitely help them because the players will keep fighting for places and impress the coaching staff. Going to the break sitting at the top will push the players to bounce back and get on with the job.

“In my opinion, it will not be a difficult job for the experienced technical team. The vibe is very high for the players and everybody is looking forward to the next game,” he added.

On the other hand, Do Santos expressed his delight for the Glamour Boys family who have been through difficult times supporting the club last season.

“It’s a huge relief to the supporters because they have been suffering for a long time, their team struggled to beat smaller teams, let alone winning trophies,” he explained.

“You will remember they lost the Nedbank Cup to a team from the lower divisions, but that is football.

“Signing a few players has helped Chiefs, yes, some of the teams might not have the budget that Mamelodi Sundowns have, but they have done well in the market based on what we have seen.

“The new players have helped to lead the club to a different direction, however, one must be cautious because football can change any time. The PSL is one of the toughest leagues, a simple example is Orlando Pirates. They were riding the waves but they have struggled to win in six matches.

“It’s very difficult to find consistency in the PSL but I am sure the fans are happy and enjoying what they have seen so far,” he concluded.