Downs defeat was wake-up call, says Parker
KAIZER Chiefs striker Bernard Parker attributed his team's electric start to the Absa Premier League - lashing Amazulu 6-0 on Saturday - to the embarrassing MTN8 exit at the hands of Mamelodi Sundowns a week ago.
The four-goal hero was adamant that lessons learnt in the 4-1 cup defeat to Sundowns contributed to the polished and captivating performance the team delivered in Durban at the weekend.
"Last week was a big wake-up call for us, because Sundowns scored three goals from set pieces and one from our mistake on attack," Parker said.
"We were disorganised during the transition from defence to attack, but we managed to work on that the whole week.
"It was a perfect reaction to last week's criticism and a perfect start to the season. It will get us more motivated and more fired up for our upcoming games."
While Sundowns laboured to a 1-0 win over Premier Soccer League rookies Chippa United, Chiefs surged to the top of the standings and Parker to the top of the goal-scorers' chart.
Chiefs' next match will be a midweek league fixture against Sundowns next Wednesday, and is sure to be a fierce rematch.
"The coach made sure that we're organised when defending a set piece and on Saturday we managed to do that well and kept a clean sheet. We are hoping that the team keeps on doing that in the up-coming games," said Parker.
The 26-year-old former Thanda Royal Zulu marksman had a sluggish debut season for Amakhosi last season but adjusted his approach to the game during the off-season and it appears to be paying dividends.
His four goals were all crisp and precise and suggested that Parker craved the goal-scoring onus he was denied under previous coach Vladimir Vermezovic's tactics.
"This season will be different from the last," Parker vowed.
"Last season I wanted to prove too much and I overworked myself and I never got myself into scoring positions."