It’s do or die in Durban derby, says Usuthu’s Palmgren

2012-08-31 00:00

IT may only be the third PSL match of the new season, but the Durban derby between AmaZulu and Golden Arrows at Moses Mabhida Stadium at 6  pm tomorrow is critical to both sides.

Either side has yet to register a win in this campaign, and of the two, AmaZulu are looking the most fragile.

Ironically, AmaZulu celebrate their 80th anniversay this season having conceded eight goals in two matches and scored none. This desperately needs to change and, while coach Roger Palmgren continues to support his players, it’s the lack of firepower up front which raises serious concern.

But it could be third time lucky for the Usuthu tomorrow.

An opening 6-0 drubbing at Mabhida, courtesy of Kaizer Chiefs and Bernard Parker who bagged four, left fans stunned. That was put down to early season jitters, and fans took slight comfort in Chiefs first up being a huge task. Things could only improve, especially in the next clash against Maritzburg United at Harry Gwala Stadium. This was not to be as the soccer gods continued to frown on the men in green and white, a 2-0 defeat adding to the woes.

Despite continued promises of improvement from Palmgren, fans want to see action and results. The time for talking is over. Goals and points is what’s needed.

Palmgren said: “We are having a tough time sorting out permit papers for five of our international players.

“These players are still unavailable for [tomorrow] and with injuries sidelining two players, including skipper Tapuwa Kapini, we are effectively seven players short.

“This is a do-or-die clash against a quality team and we have the players capable of finding the net. Our fortunes have to change soon,” said Palmgren.

Arrows, while also losing to Orlando Pirates (1-2) and new boys the PSL Tuks (1-0), have fared slightly better, the bounce of the ball favouring the opposition at crucial stages.

Coach Mushin Ertugral told The Witness: “It may sound weak, but we have been unlucky in our two matches so far.

“We should have and could have beaten Pirates and the Tuks clash was a joke.

“We played at Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium in Clermont, a training ground of ours, which has poor drainage.

“It was a poor surface, definitely not up to PSL standard and it cost us. We are moving back to Umlazi for future matches.”

On the playing front, Ertugral was happy to welcome back Thamsanqa Gabuza, giving the side more firepower up front.

Ertugral said: “Gabuza could be the key for us in [tomorrow’s] clash. He has been selected in the Bafana squad for next month’s matches against Brazil and Mocambique and has a point to prove in front of his fans.

“… I have the same squad of players that lost to Tuks and come Saturday, they will hopefully gel as a team.”

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