Komphela shifts gear, says it’s all about attack

2015-02-27 00:00

MARITZBURG United are done overthinking things. They haven’t won in seven matches, and have spent a long while discussing and analysing their defensive frailties in that lean run.

But tomorrow that will go out of the window when they meet Free State Stars at Harry Gwala Stadium in what is a must-win if they are to distance themselves from the pack at the bottom of the log and get their top eight aspirations back on track.

Attack, attack, attack. That is the new mind-set. And while it is a bold stance, it is one that is sure to be appreciated by the Maritzburg faithful who last saw victory at their stadium against Platinum Stars on October 18.

“Yesterday [Wednesday] we did a debrief. We looked back and asked why we are not winning,” coach Steve Komphela told The Witness yesterday.

“We are conceding unnecessary goals in every match. It is totally uncharacteristic of Maritzburg because we have kept clean sheets and were winning. Now we have been trying to stop these goals from leaking, and it’s not working. So we are saying, ‘Stuff that’. Let’s now look at our offensive work. In each match we’re getting something like five chances. These are the chances we need to take.”

And if there was any confusion ­remaining over the Team of Choice’s intentions, Komphela made things simpler when he said “we’d rather win the match 10-9 than 1-0”.

“Yes, let’s be cautious in defence but let’s go forward. Let’s rather attack much, much better,” he said. “We don’t want to disappoint the fans. People in Maritzburg love beautiful football. One thing you know when you’re coaching Maritzburg is that you have to win and win in style. They don’t want us to win ugly; they prefer to lose with dignity.”

Maritzburg have slipped down to ninth on the log and should they lose tomorrow night they will be drawn into a scrap among the bottom clubs. If they win they will open up a six-point cushion over Free State, who are currently in a modest 13th position just two points above the relegation/promotion playoff spot.

Komphela, though, refuses to entertain any thoughts of a relegation battle.

“My thinking has not even tilted towards that. There are cases when you look at the worst case scenario and I don’t even want to think of that,” he said. “Our team give us comfort from the work they give. We are not at that level of panic, but I don’t want that to invite complacency in.

“Our priority is to be in the top eight. Let’s be the generation that puts ­Maritzburg in the top eight for the first time. It’s not too far, but it won’t be easy.”

United go into the match without ­injured captain Ashley Hartog and ­suspended fullback Ryan de Jongh.

Kickoff tomorrow night is at 8.15 pm and the match will be televised on SuperSport Four.

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