United’s in-form Matuka ready for Cosmos clash

2011-12-16 00:00

IT may not be the ideal time to be a Maritzburg United player, but 22-year-old left back Thabang Matuka is having the most important season of his career with the Team of Choice.

Matuka joined coach Ian Palmer’s United at the start of the season from National First Division outfit United FC. After struggling in his new club’s first two matches of this season, Matuka endured a lengthy stint on United’s bench as Palmer favoured the more physical Rheece Evans.

But with regular right back Peter Petersen’s form dipping, Evans was moved to right back and Matuka has slotted back into his natural position on the left-hand side of defence to enjoy a run in the last four matches.

“I am happy with my form of late,” Matuka told The Witness.

“Sitting on the sidelines is never good, but it shows that there is competition within the squad.”

Matuka acknowledged that United’s inability to score goals had been a major problem for the side and said he had been working on how to contribute to rectifying the problem ahead of tomorrow’s crucial clash against Jomo Cosmos at Harry Gwala Stadium.

“You need to be intelligent as a defender,” he said.

“I have a responsibility to get forward and be creative, but I can’t leave holes at the back either.”

The South African under-23 player said he was optimistic ahead of tomorrow’s match and that the side had done all they could to ensure the best possible result.

“The preparations have gone really well and the mood in the camp is fantastic at the moment,” he said.

“We just need one thing, and that is to score goals.

“We have been creating plenty of chances and hopefully with a bit of luck and some intelligence we will be able to score.”

Tomorrow’s match kicks off at 3.30 pm and will be televised on SABC 1.

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