United intent on attacking

2012-09-01 00:00

THERE will be no parking the bus when Maritzburg United travel to Atteridgeville for a PSL date with Mamelodi Sundowns tomorrow, says United left back and former Orlando Pirates player Ruben Cloete.

When United met Sundowns away in a Nedbank Cup quarter-final at the same venue in April, coach Ernst Middendorp fielded an inexplicably defensive line-up that had regular fullback Peter Petersen playing on the right wing. Middendorp’s side went on to lose 2-0 that day, unsurprisingly, but Cloete believes the Team of Choice will approach tomorrow’s affair with far more attacking intent.

“We are going to give it a real go and look to play our normal, attacking game,” he told Weekend Witness last night. “We have prepared for this game like we do any other and we know that we can hit them on the counter attack.”

That much was exposed in Sundowns’ MTN8 second leg semi-final 3-2 defeat to Moroka Swallows last weekend, and Cloete knows that the Brazilians will be looking to bounce back from that disappointment.

“They are a big club and playing them away is not easy,” he said. “They will want to come back strong but we are very well prepared and we can get a result.”

At 29, Cloete is one of the more experienced players in the United setup and has added a much needed sense of stability to the back four in the season’s opening two fixtures, but he doesn’t feel any extra pressure at being one of the more established players in the setup.

“There is no pressure. Obviously the younger guys in the team look up to you but we need them just as much as they need us,” he said. “We need their energy and ability and they have a big role to play.”

The fullback added that the positive team spirit in the United camp was crucially important.

“It is a long season and it will get very tough at times,” he said. “We need to stay positive. We have a quality squad and I have slotted in very well to the setup here — I feel like I have been part of this team for years already.”

Good news for Middendorp is that everybody is fit and available for tomorrow’s fixture, which kicks off at 3 pm and will be televised on SuperSport Four.

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