Usuthu ‘complacent’

2013-11-09 00:00

AMAZULU go into their PSL clash against Bloemfontein Celtic at Moses Mabhida Stadium tomorrow without a win in their last five league encounters.

Their last victory came away to Ajax Cape Town on September 1, but coach Craig Rosslee says that he saw enough from his side’s 1-1 draw against PSL new boys Polokwane City on Wednesday night to be encouraged going into tomorrow’s match.

Usuthu started the season like a sprinter out of the blocks, recording wins against Orlando Pirates, Ajax Cape Town and Moroka Swallows in the opening weeks to secure their position amongst the league’s top three.

But things have changed somewhat, and Rosslee puts his side’s inconsistency down to complacency.

“The players by their own admission got a bit complacent,” said Rosslee. “There was a period of about a month where they were receiving a lot of accolades. They realise that they need to get back the work ethic that got them those accolades in the first place.”

Tomorrow will also see the return of former Maritzburg United coach Ernst Middendorp to KwaZulu-Natal since he joined Celtic last motnh.

Middenedorp has played three, drawn three as Celtic boss, and Rosslee says he knows what to expect from the German tactician.

“Ernst is a very organised coach. He very carfeully maps out his side’s gameplan, and we expect them to look to hit us on the counter-attack,” said Rosslee.

Good news for Usuthu is that left back Marc van Heerden returns from suspension, while the only injury concern remains Nambian defnder Larry Horaeb.

With Middendorp known for his emphasis on defensive structure, Rosslee must think long and hard about how he employs his attacking intent.

Striker Ayanda Dlamini returned to first team action with a goal against Polokwane in midweek, while Rosslee has been singing the praises of Bongani Ndulula — who appeared to be top of the pecking order until Wednesday — all season long. With Sthembiso Ngcobo also in the mix, Rosslee conceded yesterday that he had not decided on whom he would back to score his goals tomorrow.

There is no doubt that it has been a tough few weeks for Usuthu, but the players were in the right frame of mind, according to their coach.

“The mood in the camp is actually really good,” said the 43-year-old. “It would be a different story if we hadn’t been playing well, but the performance in midweek was really good and we should have come back with the three points. As long as we keep playing well, things will be okay.”

Tomorrow’s match, the only PSL game on after today’s round fixtures, will kick off at 3.30 pm and will be televised on SABC 1.

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