United to be ruthless

2014-12-12 00:00

MARITZBURG United are looking to pile more misery on struggling AmaZulu when the two clash in an eagerly waited KZN derby at the Harry Gwala Stadium tonight.

It will be a tense night as Steve Komphela’s men hope to exact revenge on Steve Barker’s chargers for their 3-1 derby defeat last season.

Victory could see the Team of Choice sharing the third spot in the PSL standings with Mamelodi Sundowns. But rivals AmaZulu, on the other hand, would want to salvage some pride and reignite their hopes of surviving the looming relegation.

Usuthu head to Pietermaritzburg as underdogs having lost eight matches while recording just one win all season, which has seen them rooted to the bottom of the PSL log.

United have made it clear that they want to reclaim their bragging rights in the province and put smiles back on the faces of their supporters after unconvincing results at home.

“We will fight hard to collect maximum points,” vowed Mohammed Anas, who slapped Orlando Pirates with a brace taking his tally for the season to five goals.

“We cannot go to the next game still thinking about previous results. That is the past. We are ready for AmaZulu as we have had extensive preparation. We know how to punish them. We just need to attack them early and carefully utilise the scoring chances.”

Anas said they need to bring back a winning mentality especially at home after garnering just two points in the last outings. He said it would be a big mistake to think it will be an easy game as the Durban-based outfit are more desperate for three points.

This was echoed by Ghanaian defender Mohammed Awal, who warned of the danger AmaZulu may pose.

“We have to take them seriously. Last time they came here [Harry Gwala] and surprised us [with a defeat], but we are always ready,” Awal said.

“We have not done well in our latest home matches but I’m certain that if we play as a unit and score goals, we will walk away victorious. They are a big team and we should not underestimate them. We will play like we are playing to survive the relegation zone.”

Midfielder Thamsanqa Mkhize said they are not happy with fifth position on the log and intend to show no mercy tonight.

“We have to concentrate especially in the dying minutes of the game. AmaZulu are not a ‘mickey mouse’, it will be a tough encounter. They play good football and I believe they have been unfortunate not to get positive results,” said Mkhize.

History favours injury-free United as they have won seven times compared to two for Usuthu, while the other five games between the KZN sides have been drawn in their 14 outings.

Meanwhile, AmaZulu’s right-back Larry Horaed and central defender Carlington Nyadombo are ready for selection after recovering from concussion and a fractured leg respectively.

Barker said he is sanguine that his chargers will overcome any difficulties thrown at them. “There is no doubt that the derby is going to be difficult. The players are looking good and healthy. I will not rest until the players perform to their full potential.”

Kick-off is at 8 pm tonight.

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