Despite their almost unassailable 13 point lead at the top of the table, Chiefs do not have a player in the top 10 scorers in the league this season but Mashamaite said that was testament to their all-round dominance.
“You can look at it both ways. You can say the strikers didn’t get goals, but at the same time you can see it’s a team effort,” Mashamaite told the African News Agency (ANA) at a training session in Naturena.
“It’s Tower [Eric Mathoho] getting a goal from a setpiece. It’s Yeye [Reneilwe Letsholonyane] getting those deep runs. It’s Mandla [Masango] coming off the wings. It’s George [Lebese] and Kingston [Nkatha] contributing. It’s been very much a team effort. The strength of the wolf is in the pack. This pack has been hunting really nicely. We hope on Wednesday we can bring home the meat.”
Chiefs need just three points to secure league honours, and a win against Polokwane City at FNB stadium will see the trophy heading back to Soweto.
With the title tantalisingly well-within their grasp, Mashamaite had a unique perspective on how his side would handle the nerves on matchday.
“Pressure. I think pressure is the most overused word in football,” said Mashamaite.
“Everything is pressure. You win a game it’s pressure, you’re number one there’s pressure, you’re number two there’s pressure. There’s always pressure talked about. We have a chance of winning the league and people are talking about pressure. Pressure, what pressure?”
Fittingly coach Stuart Baxter returns from the stands to the bench after serving a two-game suspension, but Mashamaite said the mentor’s influence extended beyond simply issuing orders on the sidelines.
“It’s important to have structure. When a father is not there, the kids know that they have to wake up, make breakfast and go to school. Doc [Doctor Khumalo] has been great, he’s always here at training so he knows what the coach would do at certain stages of the game. It also helps to have leaders on the field of play who can change the game at any given moment.”
While the league was by no means close, the 5-0 thrashing of Mamelodi Sundowns at the hands of Bloemfontein Celtic effectively ended the title race. The result, however, did not change the approach of Chiefs according to Mashamaite.
“After the Sundowns loss, he told us not to suddenly feel good about ourselves because our neighbours faltered.
“We just need to stick to want we want to achieve and get on with the job.
“We don’t want to look at who is chasing and who is in front of us. Those things go on to create extra pressure on you. We just come to training, have fun and come game time we just go and have fun.” – ANA
Original source: Chiefs success down to teamwork