Usuthu to go all out against gutsy newcomers Aces

2013-08-27 00:00

AMAZULU are back in PSL action tonight for the first time since their 1-0 win away at Soweto giants Orlando Pirates in the season opener on August 8.

While tonight’s clash against Mpumalanga Black Aces at the modest Princess Magogo Stadium in kwaMashu may not have the same mass appeal as the Pirates tie, Usuthu coach Craig Rosslee has told his players that victory against the newly promoted Clive Barker outfit is crucial.

“A win at home is absolutely vital,” the charismatic mentor said at a training session yesterday. “I have told the guys that it is like a six-pointer.”

Playing the first of four home matches at Princess Magogo (for different reasons) this season, AmaZulu will have to quickly forget about the lush surface they are accustomed to playing on at Moses Mabhida Stadium. The pitch at Magogo was in a bad condition yesterday, with uneven patches a common feature.

“I am not happy at all with it [the pitch],” Rosslee told The Witness matter-of-factly.

“We have voiced our concerns a couple of times. The fact is that the [tonight’s] match is televised and this is not a good advertisement for football in the area.”

But while the pitch is posing one problem, AmaZulu have a couple more in terms of player availability. Regular right back Carlington Nyadombo misses out through suspension while defender Msekeli Mvalo — a starter against Pirates — is forced out through injury. Rosslee also confirmed that there remained “issues” in registering a couple of foreign players, but that they would be resolved shortly.

In Aces, AmaZulu are up against a side that lost narrowly (1-0) to Kaizer Chiefs in the first match of the season. Under new coach Barker, the minnows showed a lot of fight in that match and were unfortunate not to have something to show for their efforts. If that performance was anything to go by, the AmaZulu lads will not have it all their own way tonight.

“I actually think they [Aces] dominated large parts of the game against Chiefs,” said Rosslee. “They are a quality side.”

Rosslee added that while he had “all the respect in the world” for former Usuthu legend Barker, tonight was all about business.

With Rosslee confirming he was still looking to buy another striker before the end of the transfer window, the responsibility for goals currently lies with Bongani “Drogba” Ndulula, Sthembiso Ngcobo and Ayanda Dlamini.

The coach had kind words to say about all three, especially Ndulula.

“I think regardless of how we play them, they have the potential to be a formidable strike force in the league,” said Rosslee.

“Drogba is a fantastic finisher and I believe he has a goal a game in him. But having said that, we would like the goals to come from everywhere.”

Tonight’s match kicks off at 7.30 pm and will be televised on SuperSport Blitz.

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