Larsen hopeful for next 3 matches

2013-12-04 00:00

MARITZBURG United coach Clinton Larsen wants Friday’s game against Ajax Cape Town in the Mother City to be the club’s springboard up the league.

The Team of Choice are in a bad run of three consecutive losses, and just one win since Larsen took over.

Despite the circumstances, the coach remained positive for the three upcoming games, saying they were playing for nine points.

“One result can change everything and we’re hoping that on Friday we can get that result,” he said about the must-win game against the Urban Warriors at Athlone Stadium in Cape Town.

“I’m not feeling any pressure. I’m not one to feel pressure. I knew that there would be challenges, especially with the number of injuries we had,” Larsen told The Witness yesterday.

“I’m not one to be pressurised easily. I’m not one to panic because I don’t want the players to panic.”

United have played their best football this season since Larsen took over, but they have been let down by their finishing up front.

Mohammed Yakubu, who was brought in as the replacement of lethal hitman Cuthbert Malajila, has scored just one goal this season while Terrance Mandaza has yet to find the back of the net.

Thokozani Sekotlong, Ayanda Mkhize and own goals have — with two apiece — have been the most lethal in front of goal, and Larsen said they were putting more work in their finishing.

“We’re working on the final third, our penetration and finishing. We’ve been creating chances, but we have not been taking them,” he said.

A rumour emerged during the week that club chairperson Farook Kadodia had given Larsen an ultimatum that he had to turns things around in the next two games. But Kadodia told The Witness that he had done no such thing and that the coach’s job was safe.

According to the rumour, Larsen would then be replaced with Steve Komphela, who was fired by Free State Stars this week following a loss to league champions Kaizer Chiefs on the weekend.

Kadodia laughed this off and said there was no way he would give the coach an ultimatum.

“We need results and football is results driven. But, I haven’t given Clinton any ultimatum,” said the chairperson.

He added that they had spoken to Komphela, but that was while the club was looking for a replacement for Ernst Middendorp.

When asked about the rumour, Larsen said he was not aware of it.

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