AmaZulu have tough task in Stars clash

2013-11-26 00:00

ONE has to feel for AmaZulu coach Craig Rosslee, who can’t seem to buy a win at the moment. It appeared that Usuthu would register their first PSL victory in seven attempts when they were 1-0 up at Free State Stars on Sunday, but a late Carlington Nyadombo own goal ensured a third successive 1-1 draw for the Durban lads.

It doesn’t get any easier for Rosslee’s charges either. Tomorrow night they will return to KwaMashu’s Princess Magogo stadium to take on this season’s MTN8 champions, Telkom Knock-out finalists and current fourth placed PSL side Platinum Stars.

One positive is that the Magogo pitch is in far better condition than it was when Usuthu went down 2-1 to Mpumalanga Black Aces back in August.

“We played a friendly against Maritzburg [United] there two weeks ago and they’ve done a great job on the pitch,” the coach told The Witness at a People’s Park training session yesterday. “It looks like it has been lengthened and widened, and it is in good condition now.”

At least that isn’t a worry anymore. But what is a worry is that AmaZulu, who have maintained a position in the top eight despite their winless run, could be without striker Bongani Ndulula for tomorrow night’s clash.

“Bongani picked up a knock from what was a very aggressive Free State [Stars] side,” said Rosslee. “The five-hour drive back didn’t help. He couldn’t train today [yesterday], and we will have to assess him before making any final decisions.”

Turning his attention back to Stars, Rosslee identified continuity as the major reason for their success this season.

“Continuity brings consistency,” explained Rosslee. “Coach Alan Freese has continued with Cavin Johnson’s good work and shown faith in the same players. The side is in good nick and we will have our hands full.”

Rosslee singled out Stars captain Benson Mhlongo as a major influence.

“He [Mhlongo] is an enforcer on and off the field, and that is so important to have,” said AmaZulu’s mentor. “He has rallied the squad together and is the glue in the squad.”

In addition to long-term injury Sadney Urikhob, AmaZulu will be without midfielder Mohammed Awal Issah for tomorrow night’s clash.

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