Team of Choice on target in last two games

2013-11-05 00:00

MARTITZBURG United targeted four points from their last two league games against Bloemfontein Celtic and AmaZulu, and that is what they walked away with.

The Team of Choice were pinned back for most periods in Bloemfontein during their 0-0 draw and coach Clinton Larsen admitted that they expected the game to be difficult.

“Every team knows that it is never easy going to the Free State. They put us under pressure in the first half and we had to reserve our energy for the second half because we knew it would be difficult to come back if we let them score,” Larsen told The Witness yesterday.

Once again, the difference between a point and defeat was Shu-Aib Walters, and Larsen paid tribute to his keeper and captain on the day.

“Shu-Aib kept us in the game, and he’s been on great form for us this season,” said Larsen, who added that they were able to build up some momentum and put Phunya Sele Sele under some pressure later on in the game.

United’s next league is this coming Friday when they welcome their Telkom Knock-out conquerors Platinum Stars to the Harry Gwala Stadium.

Larsen said there was still a bit of work ahead of the game against a Dikwena side that gave title challengers SuperSport United a 3-0 hiding on Sunday.

“There’s lots of room for improvement in terms of cohesion. I’ve always said we’ll get better with every game as the players get used to the changes.

“We targeted four points from these last two matches, and that is what we got,” he said.

For their next game, the club will welcome back Rheece Evans, who missed the trip to Bloemfontein due to a stomach problem.

“We’ll have a look at him again tomorrow [Tuesday], but he should be fine.”

Ruben Cloete was also due to return to training, and would have to wear a mask as he recovers from a fractured cheekbone he suffered against Platinum Stars.

The coach was also happy with Ashley Hartog, who came on from the bench after an injury lay-off, saying they were going to work on improving the match fitness of veteran former Borussia Dortmund midfielder Delron Buckley, and Dutchman Orlando Smeekes.

The coach added that players who remained on the treatment table were the usual suspects of David Booysen, Nhlanhla Vilakazi and Robyn Johannes, with the former Orlando Pirates man expected back sooner rather than later.

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