Upbeat Amazulu keen to add to Pirates’ woes

2011-10-13 00:00

THE AmaZulu training field could have been mistaken for a school yesterday morning.

Such was the joking around and singing out loud that started during training and even continued later at the change rooms.

Despite the simmering heat that descended early on the field in the morning, the players simply went about their work-out, displaying the team spirit that has engulfed their camp since getting the monkey off their back two weeks ago.

Before the shock 4-0 demolition of Ajax Cape Town at the Moses Mabhida Stadium, the Durban side’s players could be seen with forlorn looks at training.

That was because they had gone 16 matches without a win, leaving them dispirited.

Yesterday, however, as they prepared for their away PSL clash with Orlando Pirates at Orlando Stadium on Saturday evening, they exuded super confidence and tough talk of their chances of upsetting their Gauteng foes.

From assistant coach Fani Madida to head coach Roger Palmgren, jokes could be heard being shared with players as far away as the parking area.

“Things have changed drastically since the new coach came in,” confessed vice skipper Belux Kasongo of the instalment of coach Palmgren, who replaced Manqoba Mngqithi.

He added. “You could see for yourself, all players are fired up to play the upcoming games. Thanks to that Ajax win, we now believe we can continue to get points so that we move away from where we are now on the log. The new coach has been preaching the importance of self belief and togetherness. I believe we are on the right track.”

The DR Congo native said they will exploit Pirates’ inconsistency as they need maximum points to move from second last-placed position. Pirates’ (they lie eighth on the log) last game was a 1-0 loss to Free State Stars and Kasongo is aware their opponents are like wounded tigers.

“They would want to bounce back at our expense. But our plan is to shove them down further.”

Palmgren said the Ajax win helped them boost the team morale and expressed confidence in his team getting maximum points from the defending Premiership champions. The Swede said he was not that bothered by the two-week break enforced by the Fifa international games. “You would have wanted to keep playing so that you don’t lose momentum. But at the same time it [the break] has given us time to work on details in some areas that need attention and allow injured players some time to recuprate.”

He said he is keen to beef up his team with former Platinum Stars duo, defensive midfielder Stanley Kgatla and attacking midfielder Kagiso Senamela. They have been training with the team for two weeks now.

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