I want to see United safe, says skipper Morton

2014-01-25 00:00

MICHAEL Morton’s main priority is to get Maritzburg United to safety.

The Team of Choice skipper has been the subject of a number of rumours lately claiming he had signed a pre-contract with SuperSport United which would see him move to Pretoria at the end of the season.

However, Morton, whose contract with United ends in June, denied that he had signed a pre-contract with Matsatsantsa.

Asked if he wanted to extend his contract with the club, the skipper said, “My agent is the one speaking with the club. I’d rather not involve myself in that side of things … the main priority for me now is to get Maritzburg safe.”

United currently find themselves in a precarious position where they sit third from the bottom of the table, and just three points ahead of fellow KZN strugglers Golden Arrows.

With a number of United’s players like Ashley Hartog, Delron Buckley and Robyn Johannes coming back from lengthy injury layoffs, Morton said they were as good as new signings.

He was also just recovering from a niggling ankle injury himself, which he said was “coming along nicely”.

“It’s feeling a lot better and I should be fully fit in time for the next game,” Morton told Weekend Witness.

In the first quarter of the season, the club seemed to be punching above their weight when they were on target with the goal of finishing in the top four, picking up 11 points in their first eight games.

But, they tapered off a bit in the second quarter, picking up just two points in seven.

That run coincided with the reign of Clinton Larsen who was sacked towards the end of last year.

But, Morton came to the defence of the former coach, saying that it was the players who should be blamed for the run.

“We have been substandard as players and we now have to come together,” he said.

“I don’t think he [Larsen] did anything wrong. I just think he came into the club at the wrong time,” Morton said.

The club has also replaced former goalkeeper coach Arthur Bartman with Brazilian Alessandro Saurez.

The former Chiefs stopper recently quit the club for Golden Arrows, where he would be on the playing staff.

Shu-Aib Walters said having previously worked under a Brazilian goalkeeper coach at the 2010 World Cup, he was quickly getting used to it.

“I’ve worked under a Brazilian before, and it’s similar to four years ago. We want to work on a lot of things that we worked with under Arthur, and he’ll also bring in his ideas.

The language is a bit of a problem, but his English is improving … and our Portuguese is also getting better,” he added.

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