‘We have no choice but to score points,’ the Chiefs defender stated.
As Amakhosi take on Golden Arrows at FNB Stadium this evening, Kaizer Chiefs defender Daniel Cardoso is aiming for second position in the DStv Premiership heading into the international break.
With a win over Arrows, Amakhosi would move into second place, but remaining there is out of their hands, as Royal AM will jump them again if they win at Stellenbosch tomorrow.
“We are on a good run which has helped us gain confidence. There is no option for us to drop points. The guys are aware of the pressure on us, but as a big team, we have to deal with it,” Cardoso told the Chiefs website.
“We are positive that we can continue our good run. If we can end off in second spot ahead of the Fifa recess it puts us in a strong position and with games in hand. There will be plenty for us to play for.”
Chiefs’ motivation to participate could be determined off the field, as they still await a verdict on the two Premiership games they declined to play in in December, against Cape Town City and Arrows, following a Covid-19 outbreak at the Amakhosi Village.
Chiefs have been charged by the Premier Soccer League, and they may be forced to forfeit the six points or, in the best-case scenario, permitted to replay the matches. The matter has been referred to a South African Football Association arbitrator, who is expected to make a decision on Tuesday.
With only eight games remaining in the season, if the verdict goes against Chiefs, they will be 13 points behind leaders Sundowns, even if they win Arrows.
If Chiefs are allowed to replay those games, a win against Arrows today will still leave them 13 points behind Sundowns, but with ten games remaining in the season and three games in hand on the Tshwane giants, a far more realistic scenario for launching a title push.
In any case, Cardoso anticipates a difficult match against the KZN team.
“They have young, hungry players who want to prove a point against Chiefs. It has been like that over the years when we have faced them. As they go longer in a game, they get more composed. We cannot allow them to gain confidence,” he added.
Arrows are now 11th in the rankings, having drawn ten games this season while winning only one of their last seven league games. Lehlohonolo Seema’s team are unlikely to repeat their fourth-place finish under Mandla Ncikazi last season, but an improvement in form might see them challenge for a spot in the top eight.