Clash ‘will be a war’

2014-12-11 00:00

MARITZBURG United coach Steve Komphela has declared tomorrow’s clash against AmaZulu a war as his charges hope to reignite their PSL campaign at the Harry Gwala Stadium.

The Team of Choice have enjoyed a solid start to the campaign while the Durban-based outfit are enduring a horrid season that has resulted in them rooted to the very bottom of the log standings.

But the United coach understands that it’s not only about maximum points tomorrow, but also the bragging rights that come with a KZN derby.

United have been billed as favourites but Komphela dismissed the tag, saying he is wary of the threat AmaZulu may pose.

“It will be a war,” he said yesterday.

“There is no favourite in football. Wearing a favourites tag comes with a serious threat. I prefer to be an underdog because underdogs work hard and take an initiative. We are not guaranteed safety as they will come strongly at us to redeem themselves.”

United have garnered four points in their last two games — having shocked Orlando Pirates and shared the spoils with Tuks. Komphela said it is concerning that they were not clinical in front of goal against Tuks, despite creating numerous chances.

“There are matches that I strongly believe we should have won as we created enough scoring opportunities. We are failing to win three games in a row. We need to be more consistent and hopefully we will rectify our mistakes.”

United have never finished higher than 11th position and a top-eight finish remains the priority this season. AmaZulu, on the other hand, have only collected seven points all season and are desperate for only their second win of 2014/15.

Komphela said there will not be any sympathy. “We should not be misled that AmaZulu are playing badly. They have quality players. We need to be more alert. We will need to demonstrate hunger and determination, then we will succeed.”

United have proved to be dangerous at home but in the last three matches they settled for two points, having drawn with Bloemfontein Celtics and Tuks and losing to Moroka Swallows, a game they should have buried.

“The Swallows defeat humbled us and we learnt our lesson. We have been playing good football especially at home. We just need to go back to our scoring ways.”

The mood at yesterday’s training was evidence that the players are focused and motivated. Komphela said there are no injuries and his full squad are ready for action. He said if AmaZulu come with an arrogance having defeated them in the last KZN derby, they must think again.

“The support we have here [Harry Gwala] is unbelievable. We want to make our supporters proud and we always strive to give the best we could.”

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