Midfielder, Buyani Sali believes there is enough fight in the team to pull through from the position they have found themselves in, on the Absa Premiership log standings.
Chippa United were knocked out in the semi finals of the Nedbank Cup by SuperSport United on Saturday via penalties after both sides failed to score during the 120 minutes.
The defeat meant that the Port Elizabeth based side did not concede a goal in 390 minutes of open play.
Sali (27) who is out injured following an overzealous tackle from Kaizer Chiefs defender, Lorenzo Gordinho mid April was speaking to chippautdfc.co.za on Monday afternoon where he lauded his teammates’ efforts on Saturday in front of a nearly packed Sisa Dukashe; “The guys put up a good fight from the first minute to the last.
“They approached the game with a mentality to win, but God was not with us. We must move on and focus on the next game.
Based on the team’s performance last Saturday, Sali believes it showed that the team is supposed to be higher up on the Absa Premiership table.
“We showed on Saturday that we deserve to be higher up on the league table. We must take the same fighting spirit we showed in both games against SuperSport United to Free State.
Chippa United travel to Bethlehem on Saturday, 27 May 2017 for their last game of the season. The Chilli Boys are tied in 13th position with 27 points with opponents Free State Stars who are on 14th position two points above relegation.
“The result against SuperSport United (in the league) going to the last game of the season lifted the morale in the team. It was also good to have coach (Dan Malesela) back in the dugout.
“Ace” as Sali is affectionately known in football circles, is disappointed that the injury has ruled him out for the rest of the season missing out on crucial games for the Club.
“There is no better place for a footballer than to be on the pitch. I want to be on the pitch and fight with my teammates. I am obviously disappointed that I am not there. Injuries are part of the game and the focus for me is to bounce back from this setback.
“Some believe that we would be stronger if I was in the team. I see it differently, we have enough quality and experience in the team, and the last two games showed. I am in touch with the guys, and I believe in each and everyone of my teammates to pull us through.
Sali revealed that his plaster will be removed in two weeks’ time; “I am making progress. I will start with rehabilitation in two weeks’ time when the plaster is removed. I miss football already, and I cannot wait to come back on the pitch next season and pick up where I left off.
“I am grateful for the messages I have been getting from everyone. My teammates and everyone at the Club has been supportive.
“The fans have been brilliant even though at times I have had to answer questions about what has been happening at the Club,” he added jokingly.
Sali in crutches missed the Nedbank Cup quarterfinals against Jomo Cosmos, but even though he was in crutches he was seen talking to the legendary, Dr Jomo Sono after game at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium. He took time to explain his relationship with one of South Africa’s finest footballers to have graced South African football.
“I have a lot of respect for him (Jomo Sono). He is a legend of the game, and someone that has given so much to football in this country. I never got to watch him play but I have heard a lot about him as a player.
“He is also former Bafana Bafana coach, someone that has always said good things about me as a player, something I appreciate. I always make time to greet him whenever we play against his team. He is an inspiration,” added Sali.