HARARE – Former Zimbabwe international Willard Katsande believes his South Africa Absa Premiership side Kaizer Chiefs can have a serious say in the title race after moving into third place at the weekend.
Katsande was crowned the man-of-the-match following Amakhosi’s 2-1 victory away to Baroka FC, which saw new signing Leonardo Castro netting the winner on his debut.
Chiefs are now five points behind league leaders Mamelodi Sundowns, and Katsande is hopeful that the manner of the recent victories suggests the Soweto side are up for the challenge.
"We knew that it was going to be a tough game. One of my [former] coaches once told me that it takes a second to concede a goal," Katsande said.
"Once we scored we knew that they were going to be over confident. Us as professionals playing for a big team like Kaizer Chiefs, we knew that if we took the game to them we were going to get something.
"We were also trying to turn the tables because they said we have never won against Baroka.
"I think this might be the turning point also after coming back from a goal down in two consecutive matches it means this is a championship mentality and performance.
"I think credit must go to everyone in defence, they were amazing. We just need to build on this performance going forward."
The former Warriors captain also paid tribute to the impressive form Amakhosi's young players have shown this season.
"The kids that we have now are exciting, they have purpose. Us as senior players we're trying to guide them and make them taste how it feels to win something with a big team like Kaizer Chiefs,” he said.
Meanwhile, Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane admitted he will have little say over whether Zimbabwean international Khama Billiat stays at the club.
Billiat was at his best on the weekend when he fired in two brilliant free-kicks to help Sundowns to a 3-0 win over Platinum Stars, which ensures the Brazilians a four-point lead over second-placed Cape Town City.
Billiat's future though has long been the subject of much speculation as he heads into the final six months of his contract and Mosimane concedes that the 27-year-old could still exit the club in the January transfer window.
"It's not in my hands, but what's important is for us to have a back-up," Mosimane said.
"We love Khama. If he stays‚ okay, but that's between Khama and the agent as well as the board of Sundowns.
"My job is to ensure that the team keeps going and stays at the top of the log. The rest‚ I'm no longer part of it."
Billait has scored five goals and created four assists this season, with his overall record at 43 goals in 129 matches.