Giovanni Solinas calls for respect for Willard Katzande

The Kaizer Chiefs head coach has hit back at Orlando Pirates assistant coach Rulani Mokwena’s comments about his hard-tackling midfielder Willard Katzande.

Kaizer Chiefs coach Giovanni Solinas during a training session at the club’s headquarters in Naturena. Picture: @KaizerChiefs/Twitter.

JOHANNESBURG - Kaizer Chiefs head coach Giovanni Solinas has hit back at Orlando Pirates assistant coach Rulani Mokwena’s comments about his hard-tackling Zimbabwean international midfielder Willard Katzande.

Mokwena had earlier in the week made assertions that the Ghosts of Orlando will target Katzande’s distribution game when the two teams go head to head in the 164th Soweto Derby at the FNB Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Solinas called for more respect for Katzande from the media and opposition coaches alike.

“Katzande is not a problem for Kaizer Chiefs, Katzande is a very important player for Kaizer Chiefs. He has been playing well, even in the last game he played well for us. He has a very good distribution game, he is good at recovering the ball and has great tactical movement. Katzande is an international player and plays for one of the biggest teams on the continent so Katzande is not a poor player.”

The Italian also described the Zimbabwean as a club legend.

“For Kaizer Chiefs, Katzande is a legend, just like Bernard Parker, Siphiwe Tshabalala and Itumeleng Khune, these guys are legends for Kaizer Chiefs and Katzande deserves the respect from everybody, from the coaches, the Journalists the media so please respect Katzande.”

The last time Amakhosi beat the Buccaneers was four years ago when they claimed a 2-0 win in December 2014. Since then there has been one draw and a 3-1 win for Pirates, a record the Chiefs boss says he is keen on rectifying.

“It's not good that we haven’t won since 2014. It’s a big event and we want to win but most of all enjoy this event. We respect Pirates and what they have done this season, but we will go out there to win on Saturday.”

Kickoff at the FNB Stadium on Saturday is at 15:30.