KZN derby at Harry Gwala set to be a sizzler after long PSL break

2012-08-21 00:00

FANS in the city have had to wait a while, but they will be treated to PSL football for the first time this season when Maritzburg United host KwaZulu-Natal neighbours AmaZulu at Harry Gwala stadium tonight.

United go into the match after a 1-1 draw against Tuks in the season opener that was played last weekend, leaving the Team of Choice without a fixture in nine days.

“I’m not the biggest fan of having such long breaks in between fixtures, but it has given us time to work on some things at training and we are ready for the game,” United central midfielder Michael Morton told The Witness yesterday.

Morton, who joined United under then coach Ian Palmer at the beginning of the last season, has won over United fans with his hard work and dedication that has made him an integral part of United’s starting lineup.

Breaking up attacking movements and running tirelessly have become part and parcel of the former Orlando Pirates man’s game, and he is expecting a tough encounter this evening.

“Both teams are going to come out blazing and I think it will be a very physical game,” he said. “They are a side that doesn’t change too much when playing away from home and they will look to play attacking football and look for the win.”

Attack is something that coach Ernst Middendorp has placed a focus on this season, with quick transition on the counterattack forming part of the mentality he is looking to instill in his players.

“I think we are definitely a side that has goals in us,” said Morton. “Cuthbert [Malajila] was great for us last season and Terrance [Mandaza] has been looking really good in training.”

Middendorp has the option of fielding Zimbabweans Malajila and Mandaza together for the first time in a two-pronged strike force — a move that would signify his attacking intent.

Speaking of his own form, Morton said he was happy with how he had performed in pre-season.

“Obviously we’re only one game in, but I feel in good shape and I just need to keep improving with good performances on the pitch,” he said.

While the 7.30 pm kickoff is televised on SuperSport Four, Morton added that he hoped for a good turnout at Harry Gwala tonight.

“It is always great to play in front of your home fans. It has been a few months since they have seen PSL football so hopefully they are as excited about it as we are.”

• sport@witness.co,za

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