Kaizer Chiefs striker Bernard Parker has called on his teammates to ensure their attitude and energy levels are suitable ahead of their Nedbank Cup semi-final this weekend.
Chiefs are readying to face Chippa United in the penultimate stage of the competition at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Saturday evening (20h15).
This could be a defining encounter of their campaign, given that it is their last opportunity to avoid stretching their trophy drought a full four years, as their chances of a league title were shattered by Soweto rivals and current log leaders Orlando Pirates last Saturday.
Meanwhile, Parker feels a respectable position on the final standings is still important to aim at from their remaining four matches, but stresses that for now they need to concern themselves only with the upcoming trip to Port Elizabeth.
“We are entering the last stage of the season. We can still finish in a respectable position on the [league table], but our full focus is now on the semi-final,” said Parker on his club’s website.
“It’s crucial that the attitude and energy levels of everybody involved are right. It’s our goal to go to the next round, which is the final.
“We will play a side that fights for every ball and is very aggressive, and you saw that in their [recent] game against Bidvest Wits.”
On a personal note, the 33-year-old, who earlier this year penned a contract extension that could potentially see his stay at Naturena eventually span a decade, has also reflected on his upturn in game-time of late as well as his role at this crucial stage of the season.
“I am enjoying my game [but] the team always comes first. I am happy that the coach puts trust in me,” he added.
“I am one of the senior players in the squad, which means that I have to be exemplary in working hard at training. I also want my positive energy to rub off on my teammates.
“When I play, I always put the team first in my performance. It is known that I have assisted with many attacking moves, but I have also contributed in the defensive part.”