United set for ‘fresh start’ against Jomo Cosmos

2009-10-20 00:00

AFTER letting things slip with two disappointing defeats, Maritzburg United will be looking to make a “fresh start” in their Premier Soccer League game against bottom-placed Jomo Cosmos at Woodburn Stadium tomorrow night (kickoff 7.30 pm).

United’s 2-0 defeat away to Moroka Swallows at Dobsonville Stadium on Sunday followed a 5-1 home thrashing by Mamelodi Sundowns, and the team will be wary of losing their grip after what had been a solid start to the season.

United (11th) can get back on track with their three home games in succession — against Cosmos, second-last Mpumalanga Black Aces (October 28) and 13th-placed Free State Stars (October 31).

The disappointing aspect on Sunday was that United were on top for much of the game, but failed to ram home their advantage before conceding two goals in the last 10 minutes.

“It’s an unfortunate situation, but I always say there’s no room for comments in the results column,” United coach Gordon Igesund said last night.

“We’ve got these three home games, and I just hope the supporters will understand — and from past experience I know how our fans do remain behind us — that we’ve taken a step backwards, but we are determined to come out of it.

“We collectively have let our supporters down with two poor results. I had a good meeting with the players this morning and we have said from this moment onwards we’re going to put those results behind us and make a fresh start.

“We’re a team of fighters and we have to show that against Cosmos. We need to win this game by hook or by crook and reward our fans for their support.”

Igesund said United need to begin tomorrow to cut down on costly errors at both ends of the field.

“We’ve been conceding late goals, which is down to concentration. On the road you’ve got to be ruthless and we never quite managed that on Sunday.

“I thought the midfield was a bit flat, and we’ve got to work on our finishing because we can’t keep playing well and then letting teams off the hook. And we have to cut out the silly mistakes.

“The confidence has looked a little low and I’ve said to the players, ‘you’ve shown me this season you can play, now let’s get that back again’.

“I’ve been playing a holding midfielder and a supporting striker, but in this game I want to play two strikers and rattle Cosmos.”

United will have Fadlu Davids back from suspension and Igesund said he will make a decision on which one of Collen Zimba or Brice Aka will partner the striker up front.

Cosmos may be in last place, but Jomo Sono’s promoted team have shown fight despite their poor results.

“It’s going to be a tough game,” Igesund said. “I went up to Johannesburg on Saturday to watch Cosmos play AmaZulu [1-1] and they’re tall and physical, and play the counter-attack. But having said that we need to start making Woodburn a fortress again.”

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