AmaZulu feeling the heat for Celtic match

2014-08-27 00:00

AMAZULU coach Craig Rosslee admits the pressure is on his winless team to deliver their opening Premiership victory of the season when they host Bloemfontein Celtic at the Moses Mabhida Stadium tonight.

Usuthu are one of just four clubs yet to win in the 2014/15 season, along with their opponents from the Free State, Mpumalanga Black Aces and Orlando Pirates, with whom the Durbanites drew 1-1 in their last match.

However, they have yet to really impress, and the pressure is now on the coach to deliver, or at least show they have the qualities to win after a fairly dour start.

“There’s a lot of pressure, and it’s important that we get our campaign going,” Rosslee said. “As you know, the club has set its targets, but we’ve set our own targets too. We want to have a better season than we had last year.”

The club’s owners have not been shy to declare their top-four ambitions for the season, something they tend to do each year, although this time they seem even more intent after a disappointing past year.

And they will not be too pleased with the start. A dull goalless draw against Ajax Cape Town was followed by a 1-0 loss at Moroka Swallows, before drawing with the Buccaneers, when they scored their only goal of the season so far.

But Rosslee feels they have gradually been improving, saying: “We were good against Ajax, and we were even better against Swallows. We did exactly what we wanted to do against Pirates, and it’s important that we get that goodness — that winning feeling under the belt.

“We want to achieve and succeed as a club.”

In Rosslee’s defence, the club has been affected by the slow registration process of their players and delays in securing their work permits.

However, the puzzle has slowly begun to take shape, and the news was even better this week, as Zambia striker Bornwell Mwape and Togolese defender Sadate Ouro-Akoriko were both cleared to play, along with Ayanda Dlamini, fit for the first time.

But Kenyan Paul Were is still waiting for his work permit, and winger Nkosinathi Mthiyane is out injured.

Rosslee said he was expecting a tough challenge against a very physical Celtic side.

He added: “They’re a very physical side, and that will make it tough. They work extremely hard, and we’re going to have to make sure we put a good shift in as well.”

Kick-off is at 7.30 pm.

Tonight’s fixtures

7.30 pm — Tuks v Free State Stars, Tuks Stadium

7.30 pm — Sundowns v Pirates, Loftus

7.30 pm — SuperSport v Black Aces, Peter Mokaba

7.30 pm — AmaZulu v Bloem Celtic, Moses Mabhida

7.30 pm — Stars v Kaizer Chiefs, Royal Bafokeng

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