Palmgren: ‘We can do it’

2012-08-03 00:00

AMAZULU are quietly confident of shooting down Moroka Swallows in their MTN8 clash at Dobsonville on Sunday, in a match that kicks off at 3 pm.

Speaking at a press conference at Moses Mabhida Stadium yesterday, coach Roger Palmgren was under no illusions that this is his side’s chance to make headway in the competition and head for some silverware, something sorely lacking in the AmaZulu camp.

“To play in a competition that has the best eight teams from the Premier Soccer League is serious business. We have prepared well in pre-season training and, despite matches against the likes of Manchester United, this is our first heavy game ahead of the league, which starts a week later,” he said.

On the opposition, he said: “Swallows have obviously lost a great coach in Gordon Igesund, who took them to second place in the league last season, but the core of the team remains. Zeca Marques is a coach with a high pedigree and the team definitely earns our respect. This is a big game.”

Under pressure from AmaZulu management to win something this season, Palmgren was circumspect in saying the team could only try its best. “Winning a trophy has been our goal for the past four to five seasons and we can only keep trying. As far as number of matches and format is concerned, the MTN8 permutation is the easiest to pursue, but we are up against the strongest teams,” he said.

Palmgren added that for Sunday’s clash, midfielder Stanley Kgatla is out with injury, while fellow midfielder and overseas signing Dulee Johnson still has paperwork to be done before taking to the field. The coach reaffirmed earlier talk of looking for a right-wing and striker, saying Usuthu is still in the market to fill these positions.

While happy with pre-season training, Palmgren believes it’s all about what happens on the day. “I was happy with our performance against Manchester United where we spent long periods on the ball and attacked with purpose. However, while pre-season training is always good in the long run and helps prepare for matches, it’s really about what goes down on the day, good or bad,” he said.

AmaZulu defenders Marc van Heerden and Carlington Nyadombo were also in attendance, joined by striker Ayanda Dlamini. All three players acknowledged the trip to Dobsonville will be no holiday, with focus and playing decent football the key elements.

Van Heerden said: “Last season, AmaZulu enjoyed its best finish in many seasons and while it’s never easy to predict anything, pre-season time in the gym has been beneficial, and we are playing our best soccer at the moment. This is my fifth season at AmaZulu and I want to achieve. My goal is to make the Bafana squad and get at least 25 to 30 games under my belt this season. It’s a big season with some big matches.”

Asked if Swallows could be vulnerable with a new coach and some pre-season results best forgotten, Palmgren said: “You can never be sure in soccer. What has gone before means nothing on the day, especially in a competition like the MTN8.”

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