Palmer praises his team for comeback

2011-08-16 00:00

MARITZBURG United coach Ian Palmer has praised his side’s character after they came back twice to draw their opening PSL game of the season against Bidvest Wits 2-2 at the Harry Gwala stadium on Sunday.

Speaking to The Witness yesterday, Palmer acknowledged that while it was a satisfying point in the circumstances, the players feel hard done by as they believe they could have won the game.

Palmer said, “We set ourselves targets and one of them is to win all of our home games so we are slightly disappointed with the outcome.

“What it means is that we now have to make up for it on the road and go to Ajax on Wednesday and get the win there.”

United conceded both goals while defending set-pieces on Sunday, and Palmer has acknowledged it is an area that has caused him some concern.

“It definitely is, and we have spent a lot of time practising how to defend set pieces.

“But it has opened our eyes and we will keep working at it,” he said.

United were without their first choice goalkeeper, Shu-Aib Walters, against Wits as he was serving a one-match ban. Stand-in keeper Tashrique Goldman did little to stake a claim for a permanent shot in the side as he failed to command his area.

“We did miss Shu-Aib.

“We are still in the market for another goalkeeper.”

Left back Thabang Matuka and central midfielder Michael Morton were two other players who appeared to be off the pace on Sunday, but Palmer has expressed his confidence in both players.

“Thabang was our best player in pre-season and I think he had a case of first game jitters.

“He showed that he has pace and just needs to develop a big game temperament,” added Palmer.

Speaking of Morton, Palmer was equally certain that he had made the right call in signing the former Pirates player before the start of the season.

Palmer said, “I don’t regret starting Michael; he doesn’t have to prove anything to anybody.

“As the season goes on he will get better; he is a player who works hard and he just needs to keep it simple.”

He said he was encouraged by the performances of Prince Olomu, Wayne Matle and Fadlu Davids.

Palmer and the rest of the squad leave for Cape Town this evening and will have a light training session this morning.

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