It was not all bad, says Larsen

2013-10-25 00:00

DESPITE a heartbreaking loss to SuperSport United at home, new Maritzburg United coach Clinton Larsen saw an improvement in how his charges were playing on Wednesday.

The Team of Choice played a more attacking brand of football, and had luck been on their side, they could have been in front by at least two goals.

“We are so fixated with results and the three points that we sometimes miss the positives,” Larsen told The Witness yesterday.

“Our positives yesterday [Wednesday] far outweighed the negatives,” he said, adding that they were nonetheless disappointed with the result.

Counting the positive aspects of their game, Larsen said his team played with energy and kept the ball for longer periods.

“We were able to create so many chances because we were keeping the ball. We were more attacking in their half and we reached their 18-yard area a number of times.”

The coach also felt that they were good defensively, that is until Mohammed Awal’s lapse in concentration to gift David Mathebula a goal in the 83rd minute of the game.

United’s next challenge is on Sunday when they take on AmaZulu at Moses Mabhida Stadium in the season’s first KZN derby.

AmaZulu were unfortunate to find themselves in front of a speeding freight train in the form of Mamelodi Sundowns on Tuesday and were given an epic 7-1 hiding.

But, Larsen said Usuthu’s loss to the Brazilians would have no bearing on the game.

“Results like that are a once-off and we know they’ll look to come back stronger. It’s up to me and the technical team to make sure that the boys are ready and focused for the game,” he said.

The coach also gave a rare start to Frank Sarfo-Gyamfi and Thabang Matuka, and the two youngsters did not disappoint. The 19-year-old Ghanaian, who was full of running throughout, limped off the park in the 65th minute to make way for Dutchman Orlando Smeekes.

“I was very happy with Thabang and Frank,” said Larsen.

“With Ruben Cloete in the side, Thabang hasn’t had much opportunity to play. He did well for us. Frank also didn’t play much under the previous coach [Ernst Middendorp]. He’s is going to grow and he is going to be a player who’ll have a lot of influence for us this season,” he said.

A worry for the coach was defender Robyn Johannes having to come off just 25 minutes into the game with what looked like a flare-up of an old groin problem.

But, there were some good signs on the injury front with Peter Petersen and David Booysen close to making a return, while Ashley Hartog had started training again. Cloete and Nhlanhla Vilakazi were still a long way off, the coach said.

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