PMB United keep their heads

2008-02-19 00:00

MARITZBURG United will not push panic buttons, despite the slump that since the Christmas break has seen them blow a six-point lead and drop to second place in the National First Division Coastal Stream.

The Pietermaritzburg side were flat in their 1-0 defeat against Nathi Lions in Umlazi last Friday, which coach Ian Palmer says he just cannot explain. “If I knew what was wrong I could have put things right at half time,” he said.

United moved to quash reports that Palmer has been under pressure. Chairman Farouk Kadodia said: “The press has been putting pressure on me by asking whether the coach is under pressure. But we had a meeting with Palmer on Saturday to express our confidence in him.”

Kadodia said it is a concern that in the past, United have shown a tendency at around this time of the season to lose their way.

Kadodia said he does not believe there have been off-the-field problems among the players.

“Absolutely no. Nothing has come to my knowledge like that,” he said.

Kadodia said the directors have resisted meetings with players and offering big incentives, because in the past this only added to the pressure.

Kadodia elaborated on the club’s decision to release U23 international Graham King, a star performer over the past three seasons.

“There were several factors: he was battling with form, he was not getting game time and there was a worry about the company he was getting into here. He felt he could put his career back together in Cape Town.”

Maritzburg United’s remaining fixtures:

Friday: v Western Province United (Harry Gwala)

February 29: v Hanover Park (Vygieskraal)

March 7: v Ikapa Sporting (Harry Gwala)

March 22: v FC Cape Town (Blue Downs Stadium)

April 5: v Bay United (Harry Gwala)

April 12: v Durban Stars (Harry Gwala)

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