Kaizer Chiefs coach Ted Dumitru believes his teams performances following six weeks of inactivity have exceeded all expectations but ominously warns that when his players do regain their competitive form superior performances should follow.
The Phefeni Glamour Boys were inactive for over a month because seven of their players did duty at the Africa Cup of Nations in Tunisia.
Despite this, Chiefs managed to stay in touch with the Castle Premiership leaders as no team took advantage of their and fellow title challengers Ajax Cape Towns break in matches.
In their two matches so far Chiefs beat Golden Arrows 1-0 and drew 1-1 with Jomo Cosmos.
Speaking to the clubs official website, www.kaizerchiefs.com, Dumitru also revealed the reasons behind Jabu Mendus sudden substitution against Cosmos last weekend.
Mendu, who has not featured much for Chiefs since his high-profile move from Moroka Swallows at the end of last season, is not properly fit with fitness tests showing that his endurance capacity shows serious limitations, according to the Romanian-born coach.
His (Mendus) required work-rate can only be maintained, in average, for approx. 60% of the match time.
On Sunday, as the rain started, Mendu's recovery runs (from attacking actions to defence) were seriously affected and his signal was 'the tank is empty'.
He added: In fact, his drop in the work rate was so sudden that Mooki had to be brought in before completing his warm-up.
Dumitru did, however, declare himself pleased with Amakhosis overall performance since making their comeback following six weeks of inactivity during the Africa Cup of Nations.
He said he was impressed that his charges were able to restrict both Cosmos and Golden Arrows to very little attacking play while enjoying almost 60% of possession.
There were only TWO penetrative attacks we allowed in these two matches which is absolutely remarkable considering that, for example, Arrows usually produce approx. 14-15 penetrative attacks per game in their PSL matches, Dumitru is quoted to have said.
The general performance of the team, after the difficult conditions resulted from the long break, have exceeded any expectations and completely surprised our opponents.
As all the players regain their competitive form superior performances should follow.
He added: It is totally unfair to assess our performances at the moment without taking into consideration the advantage offered to other clubs of playing their PSL fixtures regularly.
Dumitru did acknowledge one area of concern.
The only sector that is still not matching the value and consistency of the rest of the departments is the striking force, he said. Here, intensive work and quality solutions are the only answer. Every effort is made to address the problems.
Chiefs are currently third on the Castle Premiership log, three points behind leaders Santos but having played five fewer games.
Their next fixture is against Sundowns in the first round of the Absa Cup on Sunday.