HOTSEAT WITH DAN “DANCE” MALESELA

DAN “Dance” Malesela is challenging his troops to turn draws in to victories as we head in to our encounter against Stellenbosch FC on Sunday at Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit at 3.30pm.

The game will be live on SuperSport. We’ve dropped six points in our last three games against Kaizer Chiefs, Swallows and Lamontville Golden Arrows.

Malesela wants us to get back to winning ways when we square off against Stellenbosch.

After five games in the DSTV Premiership, the Rockets have registered seven points. We are yet to taste defeat. The club has amassed four stalemates and one victory.

TS Galaxy website sat down with Dan Malesela to chat about our battle with Stellenbosch.

TS Galaxy (TSG): Coach Dan, how key is victory in this coming match against Stellenbosch?
Dan Malesela (DM): The interesting thing about football is that as long as you don’t win, you then target the next game. Fortunately or unfortunately for us is that we need to win so that we can decrease the number of draws. They just came from a 3-0 loss (at the expense of Mamelodi Sundowns).

We both need to get points, you know. Our home games are important. I’m not saying the other games are not important. It is much more crucial for us to get points at home. They take a lot of pressure on us. But it is a pressure that we must accept. When you are under pressure, you must know that you’ve put yourself under pressure. We have to work so that we can get the maximum points. We don’t want to start falling behind (the leaders) and stuff like that.

TSG: Ironically, our next game is on the same day when our President, Tim Sukazi will be celebrating his 47th birthday.

DM: That puts more pressure hey. I didn’t want to say anything to the players but I feel that it is something that we cannot avoid. My wife’s birthday is also on Tuesday. So, I’m more under pressure. So, she said to me, you guys must start winning, I need this birthday present. It is pressure all over. But is it welcomed pressure. It’s comes at point where we need to get maximum points out of this game. We don’t want to disrespect opponents but we want to put them under serious pressure.

TSG: Bevan Fransman, didn’t feature against Arrows because of an injury. How bad is that? Is he likely to miss the remainder of the year?

DM: Seemingly that is the case. It seems like he is out of this year. It is so unfortunate because this comes when we were starting to think that we are solid at the back and then this happens to him. But that’s why we have other players in this area. It is for them to just raise up their hands and say I’m available (to fill the void left by Bevan).

This weekend, I may introduce a young defender. We call him Killer and his name is Macbeth (Mahlangu). He is 19 years old but I may have to introduce him. I hope, he will do well. He has been doing well at training. We started playing when we were very young. That is very crucial. I remember when people said I’m too thin for my position. Probably, I was the same size as Killer but one survived. Why not with Killer?

TSG: How important it is to attack Stellenbosch from the word go.

DM: I had a bit of a go at the players to say, all of a sudden you decide to attack when we are a goal down. The other team was sitting back with the hope of defending the 1-0 lead. Off course, it was very late in the game when we scored. If we give ourselves a chance to say let us lead the opponents, we will have joy the whole 90 minutes. We may have even have more openings than we have at the moment.

Sometimes we take too long and that puts us under pressure. It builds confidence to the opponents to say, we can survive here. Truth be told, I know that there are teams who comes here and they are very worried about us. If we let them off the hook or we give them hope, they gain confidence. We shouldn’t do that.