United’s Larsen is settling

2013-10-18 00:00

NEW Maritzburg United coach Clinton Larsen is settling in and the players have taken to him well following his appointment as Ernst Middendorp’s replacement this week.

The is what club chairperson Farook Kadodia, the man who recruited the former Bafana Bafana midfielder, told The Witness yesterday.

The club face a tough first test in the first game of the Larsen era in the form of league leaders Supersport United who visit the city for a Premier League encounter next Wednesday.

Matsatsantsa have been somewhat of a hoodoo team for United recently. Supersport beat the Team of Choice twice in cup games last season, plus a draw in the league.

“It’s always been a tough game,” Kadodia said, adding that an injury to Orlando Smeekes against the team from Pretoria forced him to miss three months of action.

“He [Smeekes] outpaced the entire team, and the only way to stop him was to injure him. So he has something to prove against them,” he said.

The club’s next four games are by no means easy. After the Supersport encounter, United travel down the N3 to take on AmaZulu in the season’s first KwaZulu-Natal derby on October 27, and then head to Bloemfontein on Guy Fawkes Day for a game that could provide some fireworks against Celtic in a game the chairman calls the “battle of coaches”.

United then welcome MTN8 holders Platinum Stars, the club that also knocked them out of the Telkom Knockout, on November 8 at Harry Gwala Stadium before the league takes a two-week break due to internationals.

“The next four games will be important,” Kadodia said. “Ideally, we would like two wins and a draw as a minimum. If we can get seven points from a possible of 12, then we would have done well,” he said.

“I’m quite confident that the team can break this hoodoo against Supersport,” he said.

Kadodia urged fans to get to the game and support the club in their bid to “knock Supersport United off their pedestal”, as the Larsen put it on Tuesday.

“We have a new coach at the club, and Supersport are on top of the log. We need the fans behind us as we break this hoodoo that we have.”

He said tickets for the game were available from the club’s offices in Victoria Street at R40 with children under 12 getting in free.

“We believe we will have a large crowd come Wednesday.”

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