Team of Choice upbeat ahead of clash against SuperSport

2011-10-13 00:00

THERE was a jovial mood at Maritzburg United’s Orthman Road training ground yesterday as the Team of Choice continued their preparations for tomorrow night’s PSL clash against log leaders SuperSport United in Pretoria.

With the emphasis firmly on being clinical in front of goal, the team worked through their training session while clearly enjoying their football, something club captain Fadlu Davids says has been crucial to the early success of the side this season.

“There is a really great mood in the camp and the spirit amongst the boys in fantastic,” he told The Witness yesterday.

Maritzburg are in third position on the table, just two points behind SuperSport, and the teams enter tomorrow’s match as the only two in the PSL that have not been defeated this season.

If Maritzburg are to maintain their impressive start to the season, though, they will need to deal with the threats posed by a SuperSport side that won the League for three successive years between 2007 and 2010.

“They are a very clinical side; they don’t mess around at the back and they will try and put us under pressure,” said Davids, who scored the equaliser in his side’s first away game of the season at Ajax Cape Town.

“If we can handle their aerial threat, win the second ball and hit them on the break, then I think we will be okay.”

The ability to take chances has been problematic for Maritzburg so far this season, and this has been an area where coach Ian Palmer is hoping for improvement.

“We have been working really hard at our finishing and at being more clinical in front of goal,” said Davids.

“We need to take our chances early in the game to avoid a situation where we have to come back from behind.”

Nigerian striker Jacob Abobade, who joined Maritzburg at the start of the season as a triallist before returning home, has finally resolved his registration issues and will be available for selection for tomorrow’s match.

“He has settled in really well and he is looking sharp,” said Davids. “It is great to have the kind of depth that we now have; it is something that we have never had before.”

A draw for United would not be considered a bad result, but Davids said he and his team-mates will be playing for a victory.

“We will be going there for the three points,” he said.

“Yes, a draw would not be a bad result, but the coach has instilled a winning mentality in us that is now slowly starting to come through…”

The match kicks off at 8 pm and will not be televised.

• sport@witness.co.za

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