Arrows in high spirits

2013-11-23 00:00

PLAYED three, won one, lost two.

That is Golden Arrows coach Mark Harrison’s league record since taking over at the club at the beginning of October.

Significantly, he has won his only home match [2-1 against Moroka Swallows earlier this month], and this gives the Umlazi-based side an element of confidence heading into tomorrow afternoon’s KZN derby against Maritzburg United.

In that match, Arrows were sublime in the first half and played a brand of football that Harrison has been trying to replicate all season.

But what followed was a loss at SuperSport United just three days later and the Arrows’ revival was stunted.

The league has been on a two-week break since then, and Harrison said he had used the time wisely.

“We try not to give these breaks too much thought because there isn’t anything we can do about them,” said the coach.

“I suppose it has given us some time to re-assemble.”

With no new injury worries to speak of, Harrison’s charges are high in spirits despite lingering second-bottom on the PSL log.

“It is our home game and we want the three points,” he told Weekend Witness yesterday.

“We are more than capable of beating Maritzburg.”

The coach is expecting an open game, and is aware that United are looking to be a more attacking unit under their own new coach Clinton Larsen.

“Both sides are going through a period of transition, so that could make things interesting,” said Harrison. “Under Ernst [Middendorp] they were maybe a little bit conservative, but I understand how Clinton works.”

The English tactician singled out enterprising attacking midfielder Thokozani Sekotlong as United’s main threat, but also made reference to central midfielders Michael Morton and Ryan de Jongh.

“He [Sekotlong] is an exciting young player who can play out wide or at number 10. We’ll have to watch him,” said Harrison. “I could go through their whole side. They are a very talented squad.”

After tomorrow’s match, Arrows will have completed a third of their fixtures this season and if they go winless they will remain rooted to the bottom of the table. But it is far too early to start thinking about relegation, says Harrison.

“I don’t think like that and I don’t talk to my players about that at training,” he said. “It is far too early to start pushing panic buttons. If you look at the gap between us and the sides in the top eight, it isn’t much. A couple of wins in a row and everybody will be talking about finishing in the top eight.”

Arrows are five points behind fifth placed United.

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