Striking the balance

2014-11-04 00:00

HIS Maritzburg United career has been erratic with some big goals along the way, but Zimbabwean striker Terrance Mandaza feels he is back to his best ahead of tomorrow’s PSL clash at home to Bloemfontein Celtic.

Mandaza opened his account for the season in Maritzburg’s shock 4-1 thumping of SuperSport United on October 22, but the burly centre forward says he does not feel added pressure to score more goals now he has gotten off the mark.

“As a team, the way we are playing at the moment, anybody is capable of scoring,” Mandaza told The Witness yesterday.

“Personally I have the support of my team-mates and they keep encouraging me to be better. Everybody is putting in a lot of hard work and that is why we have been doing so well.”

And they have been doing well. United are currently third on the PSL table and undefeated at home in this campaign.

“Winning at home is very important. If you can’t win at home, then sometimes it can be very difficult to win away,” Mandaza said.

The wind was partially knocked out of United’s sails with this past weekend’s PSL fixtures postponed as Senzo Meyiwa’s funeral took place in Durban. Coach Steve Komphela’s men were hot favourites to overpower a struggling University of Pretoria at Harry Gwala Stadium on Friday night — a result that would have solidified their position in the table’s upper positions.

“We had prepared for the Tuks game, but that is in the past and all we are concentrated on is Celtic,” said Mandaza.

Tomorrow night also sees former United coach Ernst Middendorp return to Harry Gwala for the second time as Celtic boss.

Mandaza played under Middendorp and has fond memories about his former mentor, but added any friendly reunions would be reserved for after the match.

“We know him; we played with him for a long time, but we are focused on the game and it is time to play. Maybe after the match we can catch up, but not before,” he said.

Maritzburg are the joint top scorers with SuperSport and have demonstrated an eagerness to play quick, attacking football.

It would hurt Middendorp to acknowledge United are a far more dangerous outfit under Komphela than they ever were under him, but that is certainly the case given Komphela’s relentlessness in fine-tuning his attacking movement at training.

“He [Komphela] is a very good coach,” said Mandaza.

“He pushes us and expects us all to give a lot.”

Tomorrow night’s match kicks off at Harry Gwala at 7.30 pm and will not be televised.

Tomorrow night’s PSL fixtures:

Free State Stars v Polokwane City

University of Pretoria v Ajax Cape Town

Mamelodi Sundowns v Black Aces

Moroka Swallows v SuperSport United

AmaZulu v Kaizer Chiefs

Maritzburg Utd v Bloem Celtic

Chippa United v Wits

P W D L GF GA GD Pts

Chiefs 9 8 1 0 13 3 10 25

Ajax 9 5 2 2 11 7 4 17

Maritzburg 9 4 3 2 14 7 7 15

Sundowns 9 4 3 2 10 6 4 15

Aces 9 4 3 2 10 9 1 15

Pirates 9 4 2 3 13 8 5 14

Wits 9 4 2 3 9 7 2 14

Chippa 9 4 2 3 9 8 1 14

Celtic 9 3 3 3 12 10 2 12

SuperSport 9 4 0 5 14 13 1 12

FS Stars 9 3 2 4 10 11 -1 11

Swallows 9 3 1 5 12 18 -6 10

Platinum 9 2 2 5 7 13 -6 8

Polokwane 9 2 1 6 10 20 -10 7

Tuks 9 1 3 5 5 11 -6 6

AmaZulu 9 0 4 5 4 12 -8 4

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