Arrows face mammoth task against Amakhosi

2013-12-19 00:00

GOLDEN Arrows may be bottom of the PSL table, and the club’s supporters may be losing patience with their coach, but the players remain completely behind Mark Harrison as they prepare for tonight’s near-impossible task against Kaizer Chiefs at Moses Mabhida Stadium.

So flimsy has the Arrows defence been in recent weeks — they have shipped eight goals in their last three outings — that it is difficult to see tonight’s encounter not ending in a Chiefs win as Stuart Baxter’s Soweto outfit look to get back to the top of the log.

It has been a nightmarish few weeks for Harrison, and the group of angry supporters that waited for him outside of King Zwelithini Stadium on Monday night following a 3-0 loss to AmaZulu will surely throw less profanities Harrison’s way should Arrows cause an upset this evening.

A cutting attack on his own players followed that match, and Harrison’s words seem to have fired up his charges.

“Sometimes in football it is easy to blame the coach. But we, the players, must look into the mirror,” seasoned fullback Siyanda Zwane told The Witness yesterday. “We are behind the coach. We believe in him. In fact, I think he is one of the best coaches that I have played under.”

As bad as things are for Abafana Bes’thende, they can move off the foot of the table and ahead of Free State Stars and Maritzburg United with victory tonight. But with Orlando Pirates in Soweto pencilled in for Sunday, the immediate future looks difficult for Harrison and Arrows.

“It’s going to be a hectic few days. But it is not a load that we can’t carry. We don’t need motivation when we play against Chiefs and Pirates,” added Zwane (28), who has been at Arrows since 2005.

“We’re at the stage now where we don’t want to look at the log because it is not good. But the fact that we have nothing to lose makes us more dangerous.”

A major talking point after the AmaZulu defeat was Harrison’s selection of his new signing, son Ryan Harrison.

The keeper was responsible for two of Usuthu’s three goals that night, and whether or not he is selected for this evening’s clash remains to be seen.

But Harrison’s major beef over the last few matches has been with his defence and their inability to keep a clean sheet.

“We have had most of our problems from set pieces.

“The coach has made a few changes at the back to look for the right combinations,” said Zwane.

“But a lot of the goals that we have conceded have been silly errors and no fault of the coach at all.”

Tonight’s match begins at 7 pm and will be televised on SuperSport Four.

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