Maritzburg hot shot confident of team’s greater quality

2008-04-01 00:00

TOP scorer Fadlu Davids believes Maritzburg United’s greater player quality and experience should count in the team’s favour in their NFD Coastal Stream “cup final” against Bay United at Harry Gwala Stadium on Saturday.

With leaders Bay on 39 points and Maritzburg on 38, Saturday’s game is sure to decide which team will contest the National First Division final for automatic promotion to the PSL.

Davids, with 10 goals, is the second-top scorer in the Coastal Stream behind Bay’s Linos Chalwe on 11. For the striker, though, finishing top scorer in the first division, as he did in the 2004/05 season, is far from the emphasis.

“If I don’t score again and the team wins promotion, I would happily take that,” Davids said yesterday.

The striker said Maritzburg have been put into a pressure situation by a slump after the Christmas break that saw them blow a six-point lead.

“Coming from the break, I think we were a bit complacent. But since we turned against WP United, we have won four in a row. Now it is just two more wins.”

The ex-Silver Stars man said that after two games against Bay this season, United should know what to expect. “They play all-out attack from all angles, with the right-back and the left-back going forward, and perhaps we can look to exploit that by hitting them on the counter-attack. In the first game in PE we scored in the last 10 minutes and then had seven players on field when they equalised.

“In our 2-0 defeat in Maritzburg, that was where we let complacency set in. Now we know what to expect.

“It could come down to which team buzzes on the day, and who is just hungrier for it. But I still think overall we have the better team, more balanced and with better quality. The playing styles are quite similar but I think ours is more refined all-round.”

United will allow free entrance to the ground, except for the grandstand, which is still R20, in an effort to have a big crowd behind the team.

“The more fans behind us the better it is for our motivation,” Davids said. “And also, I think we have more players with experience of playing in the PSL than Bay do, so a crowd could factor against them. And we should also cope with the big-match pressure better.”

The striker played with a mask in United’s 1-0 away win over FC Cape Town 11 days ago, having broken his nose in the previous game against Ikapa Sporting, but is hoping to take the field un-strapped against Bay.

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