Palmer: Maritzburg United will bounce back

2008-02-15 00:00

MARITZBURG United have been through a slump since their return from the Christmas break, but the National First Division Coastal Stream leaders will bounce back, says coach Ian Palmer.

United will aim to end their slum when they play Nathi Lions at King Zwelithini Stadium in Umlazi this afternoon (3 pm).

The PMB team, who were six points clear and unbeaten in 12 matches before the NFD broke up, drew their first game away after the break against FC Cape Town, lost 2-0 at home against Bay United, and drew their last home game against Nathi Lions 1-1. United are still two points clear from the top.

“We never got out of the Christmas break and we really need to find our rhythm,” Palmer said.

We were dead in our first game back [against Bay United], and we improved in our last game but we just never used our chances.”

The coach said he is confident United will bounce back to form.

“There are only seven games left and we can’t afford to slip up now. The results recently, with even the bottom teams picking up points, show that the third round is where every team really starts to play.

“The guys know that they will need to play twice as well as they have before, and they are really motivated to start winning again.”

Lions are coached by former United coach Mlungisi “Professor” Ngubane. The wily coach is sure to have taken note of his opponents‚ style of play in the two previous meetings of the teams this season.

“They’re a defensive team and we just have to find the penetrative passes to try to finish them off early,” said Palmer.

For United midfielder John Arwuah and striker Fadlu Davids are out suspended, but otherwise Palmer has a fit squad available.

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