United to go all out for six points on offer before the Christmas break

2013-12-10 00:00

DESPITE four consecutive losses, Maritzburg United will be going all out to claim six points in their last two remaining Premier League games before the Christmas break.

The Team of Choice were due to play third-placed Bidvest Wits at the Harry Gwala Stadium this Friday, but all of this weekend’s Premiership fixtures have been postponed.

They are likely to play that game on Monday before heading to Loftus Versfeld to take on league leaders, the mighty Mamelodi Sundowns, in Pretoria.

United coach Clinton Larsen said his team were aiming for nothing other than leaving both games with the three points.

“We still have six points to fight for. Winning those games will change our season. We’ll go out there and we’ll do whatever we can and see where that leaves us,” Larsen told The Witness yesterday.

Judging by United’s second-half performance against Ajax Cape Town in an emotionally-charged game last Friday, the 3-1 scoreline was not deserved as they looked the better side.

But, once again the coach bemoaned his strikers’ inability to find the back of the net, and the costly mistakes they made at the back.

“This was not the result we wanted. It was a very important game for us and we needed, a win” said Larsen. “We made amateurish mistakes that cost us goals. [Mohammed] Awal scored an own goal but that was credited to Eleazar Rodgers. We didn’t defend well, and we were punished.

“There were also times when we lost possession too easily in our half. If you lose possession in this league, teams punish you. We conceded two soft goals and we were on the back foot.

“We’re always talking about improving, but you don’t see that until you win,” he said.

United’s next two games against tough opposition — Wits and Sundowns — will now be must-win games, and Larsen knew that in order to get all of the points from the games, they needed their strikers to be lethal in front of goal, something they have not been all season.

“It’s an area we’ll continue to work on. It’s not just a problem here, it’s in the entire league. But, the more we work on it, they’ll be finding the back of the net sooner rather than later,” he said.

Some bad luck ahead of their next game, United will be without Mario Booysen who picked up his fourth yellow card and will now serve a mandatory one-game suspension while Peter Petersen, who came off in the 51st minute, is an injury doubt.

The PSL announced yesterday morning that all this weekend’s fixtures would be postponed as many stadia across the country would serve as venues for memorial services following the death of former president Nelson Mandela.

• lunga.biyela@witness.co.za

@KingBiyela on Twitter

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