Race for top eight getting desperate

2013-04-30 00:00

MARITZBURG United have three tough fixtures remaining in their bid to secure a top eight league finish for the first time in their history.

After their 1-0 loss to Moroka Swallows on Friday night, United travel to Rustenburg to take on title contenders Platinum Stars tomorrow night.

Coach Ernst Middendorp’s charges know that from now on every match and every available point has mammoth significance, with eight clubs all fighting for five of the top eight positions that are still wide open. But Middendorp says there will be no added pressure on him or his player in the league’s final stretch.

“We have had pressure before. Every game has been pressure. It [the league] has been close for a long time now,” the coach told The Witness on his way back to Pietermaritzburg from Johannesburg yesterday. “We have the experience in the squad, and if we want to be successful, then we will have to deal with it.”

Middendorp attended Sunday’s clash between Kaizer Chiefs and Stars to study the opposition.

“They [Stars] are very dangerous from set-pieces and are a very settled, united force,” Middendorp said, making particular mention of the threats posed by Benson Mhlongo and Thuso Phala. “We will have to be at our very best.”

United do have a few worries in terms of available players ahead of tomorrow night’s clash. Centre back Mohamed Awal is out because of a yellow card he picked up against Swallows, while striker Cuthbert Malajila and playmaker Delron Buckley are “50/50” injury doubts for the clash. They are three of United’s most important players. While there is nothing that can be done about Awal’s suspension, Buckley [foot] and Malajila [knee] picked up knocks against Swallows, and United’s medical staff will be working hard to get ready in time after .

“It is difficult at this stage to say just how bad they [the injuries] are,” said Middendorp. “I will know more when I get back to Pietermaritzburg and we will make a decision later.”

Tomorrow night’s match kicks off at 7.30 pm and will be televised on SABC 1.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Man scores date with tennis superstar after Twitter bet

It’s a modern day Cinderella story, but one American man took ‘shoot your shot’ seriously in 2017.


You won't want to miss...

6 myths about male cancer
Who are the highest paid models of 2017?
10 gorgeous plus-sized models who aren't Ashley Graham
5 top leg exercises for men
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.