‘United must play all the Birds’

2012-10-17 00:00

THERE are no individual superstars in the Moroka Swallows lineup that Maritzburg United should give special attention to when the sides lock horns in this Saturday’s first round of the Telkom Knockout at Harry Gwala Stadium.

This is the view of United’s Zimbabwean attacking midfielder/striker Terrance Mandaza, who is desperately trying to get himself amongst the goals after joining coach Ernst Middendorp’s squad at the start of the season.

“[Swallows] are a fantastic team. They have just won the MTN8 Cup and they achieved that as a team,” Mandaza told The Witness yesterday.

“If we start focusing on one player then there is the chance that another guy might hurt us. We need to focus on everybody we play against.”

With Swallows boasting star names in attack such as Lerato Chabangu, Katlego Mashego and Siyabonga Nomvethe, United will certainly not have it easy in defence.

And with the prospect of extra time and penalties looming large in cup football, Mandaza knows that both sides will be looking to score goals.

“You approach cup matches a little differently.

“There cannot be a draw, so we will look to score goals to avoid going to extra time or penalties,” he said.

While there is much to play for on Saturday in the way of silverware, the fixture will also be a homecoming for Felix Obada. The Nigerian winger, once a favourite son at Harry Gwala, left for Swallows at the start of the season and Mandaza is all too aware of his predecessor’s ability.

“We know him [Obada] and we are prepared for him. He is a very good player.”

But the thing that Mandaza emphasised most is what everybody within the United camp has been obsessed with in the buildup to Saturday’s match — this is United’s time to challenge for silverware.

“It is a chance for us to show how much we want it,” he explained.

“We have been working hard for this game and we are all looking forward to it.”

While their defence has been the clear strong point for United so far this season, it will need to be at its best on Saturday. And furthermore, those tasked with scoring goals will need to do just that.

“I am trying very hard to find goals,” conceded Mandaza.

Saturday’s match kicks off at 8.15 pm and will be televised on SuperSport Blitz.

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