Kaizer Chiefs striker, Bernard Parker, has stressed the importance of winning their home games in this season’s CAF Champions League, saying they’ve learnt from last year.
The Amakhosi fell at the final hurdle in the group stages of the tournament last season as they were knocked out by eventual finalists, AS Vita, and Parker says that they’re hoping to do better this year.
Parker, 28, will be playing in his second CCL campaign and says that the team will stick to ‘the Kaizer Chiefs way’ of playing whenever it is possible throughout the course of the competition, starting with Township Rollers.
Speaking to the Siya crew, Parker said, “I don’t think that we’ll change much, but I do think we’re more mentally prepared and more mentally strong. Last time it was the first time for a lot of us and it was a long time since Chiefs had played in the Champions League.
“Now we know what to expect a bit more, and I think mentally we’re a lot clearer now.”
When asked whether his head coach will throw caution to the win after last year’s disappointment, Parker said, “I think it will depend on the conditions. If we can, and the conditions are favourable, we will always try to play the Kaizer Chiefs way, because the coach wants a performance from us first and foremost. The results come automatically.
“However, if the pitch and conditions don’t favour us then we’ll have to grind out results, score goals from set pieces and rely on individual pieces of brilliance.”
Finally, on the topic of home legs in continental football, Parker concluded, “It’s so important to get a win at home, because sometimes in Africa they use all sorts of tactics, so it’s vital that we get a result at home before we go away in the second leg tie.”
Chiefs take on the champions of Botswana at FNB Stadium on Saturday afternoon as they look to get their 2015 CCL campaign off to a winning start.