SuperSport United caretaker coach Andre Arendse admits it’s been “a difficult week” on and off the pitch but was delighted to see his side bounce back against Kaizer Chiefs.
SuperSport bounced back and return to winning ways after they secured a narrow 1-0 victory over Amakhosi at the FNB Stadium on Saturday evening.
Despite the win, United remain in eighth place on the log with 34 points from 25 games, while Amakhosi dropped down to fourth place in the league standings with 39 points after 23 matches.
“So proud hey, there’s no much I can say about that. I heard Stuart [Baxter] talking about stats don’t win you games and he’s 100 percent correct,” Arendse told SuperSport TV after the game.
In our case tonight, what we wanted was commitment and desire. We spoke about that during the week. I said to the guys, ‘When you come up against a team that has as much quality as Kaizer Chiefs have, you got to have to show commitment and desire’.
“I think the challenge for the players and as was for Chiefs was the condition of the pitch, I said to them they got to need to have the desire to keep the ball, to pass it around even in the wet conditions.
“Because you got to try to keep the ball away from Chiefs and I think they were confident and comfortable in doing that and it set the tone. The commitment to go forward, to look for solutions, try to press Chiefs in their own half.
“I said to them before the game they’ve got to play risk free football at the back but take risks upfront because they will be rewarded if they are willing to do that and they deserve everything they got.
“Chiefs looked at their best when they were playing one-two’s, running off the shoulders of our defenders. What they [back-line] did do very well for us was going narrow in terms of keeping our defensive shape, they did that perfectly well, even with the back-four.
“And it just helped us when we put on Keegan Johannes on to shore up that defence to make it extra difficult for Chiefs to try to break the lines.”
He added: “We were struggling to keep clean sheets and just as important as getting three points was important to keep the clean sheet, so credit to Ronwen [Williams] and the back-four.
“It’s been a difficult week, I’m not going to lie, on and off the pitch for us as a team, as a club, we had to cope with it, deal with it but it was important for us to bounce back and as big as this game was just because it’s Kaizer Chiefs, it made it a bit more special as well.
“And I’m going to let the players have that, they are in good spirits at the moment but to keep that momentum until the rest of the season that’s going to be important and I don’t think that’s going to be a difficult job for me, you can hear by the celebrations that this is something they want to keep going until the rest of the season at the very least,” he concluded.