United out to close gap on SuperSport

2011-10-12 00:00

AFTER a two-week break, the PSL resumes this weekend and Maritzburg United are preparing for a top-of-the-table clash against SuperSport United in Pretoria on Friday night.

Both sides go into the match as the only teams unbeaten after seven rounds of fixtures this season.

United occupy third position on the log, while SuperSport are in pole position just two points clear of the Team of Choice.

Performing above expectations so far this season under manager Ian Palmer, United will be looking to come home with all three points, solidifying their position near the summit of the standings.

Palmer has encouraged his side to play for victories in all of their matches so far this season and avoid settling for draws on their travels.

While concerned that the break in fixtures might have upset his side’s rhythm, Palmer said it has helped some of his players recover from injury.

“For us, this time, the break came at a good time because it allowed Peter [Petersen], Rheece [Evans] and Kurt [Lentjies] to recover from their knocks and they are all fully fit now,” he said.

The coach acknowledged that SuperSport are a strong side and attributed their impressive start to the season to an abundance of quality players.

“If you look at their side, they have a number of players who have played in Europe and are a part of Bafana now,” he said. “The club has a lot of money at their disposal and they are a dangerous side.”

Palmer added his side have looked good at training this week.

“The boys have been looking sharp. We have been focusing a lot on our sharpness and our finishing, as well as defending set pieces because that is a strength of theirs [SuperSport’s],” he explained.

Speaking about the weekend’s shambles that saw Bafana Bafana miss out on Afcon qualification after failing to understand the competition rules, Palmer defended coach Pitso Mosimane.

“Look, it was a mistake, but in a situation like that you would expect somebody on your technical team to have picked it up,” he said of the team management’s failure to acknowledge that a superior goal difference would not be enough to put them through ahead of Niger and Sierra Leone. “The technical team is there to assist the coach.”

Friday’s match kicks off at 8 pm at the Lucas Moripe Stadium and will not be te­levised.

• sport@witness.co.za

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