‘NO CRISIS’in Maritzburg United camp

2016-02-17 06:00

PSL outfit, Maritzburg United, may be losing­ crucial and easy games or even dicing­ with the risk of being relegated at the end of the current season, but outsiders and former players say there is no crisis and things can be easily turned around.

Former Team of Choice and well-travelled defender Peter Petersen agreed that the precarious position of the team in the log is a big concern, but not all is not lost.

Petersen says United lacks experience in crucial departments, but said the coach cannot be blamed.

“Not at all, you can’t blame the coach because the damage was done long ago,” said Petersen­.

The Cape Town-born and ex-Moroka Swallows player said the side is in a very tricky situation, but this is not cause for panic.

“Panic will make the situation worse, but it is encouraging that head coach Ernst Middendorp got them scoring goals. However, the back door is wide open. It’s impossible to take the lead for three games in the row and then throw it away,” said Petersen.

Although things look tough and impossible for United, Petersen believes that not all is lost because the season is not yet done and dusted.

“Players will have to make sure they give 120% effort with a cool, clear brain as panic leads to mistakes on the field.

“Players must not forget there is still 39 points to play for. Knowing Middendorp, he will fight for every single point. The boys need to keep calm and take it one at a time.”

Another former United player from Mannor Flats, currently playing for indoor soccer team Young Natalians, affiliated to the South African Indoor Football Association (SAIFA), known as Futsal, Rinaldo Donnely, says the Team of Choice is playing well and is one of the exciting teams to watch, but they are just unlucky.

“There is absolutely nothing wrong with the team. They are playing good football, made of talented quality players and the side is well balanced.

“They are very exciting when attacking and their counter-attacks are pure class.

“Maybe there are just unlucky to have ended up losing at the end of the day,” said Donnely.

The former MLSultan pupil suggests players have to believe in themselves and things will fall together again.

“No, no, no - there is no crisis in the team. They need to double their efforts, stay focused and concentrate for the entire game.

“They must release that nobody else will change the current situation, only them.

“They must have faith and believe in themselves.”

United communications manager Brian Zuma­ says the current position and situation is not out of hand and everybody in the team is working around the clock to change it.

“We are all concerned, but I can assure you there is no crisis.

“Our biggest concern is giving up the lead and conceding in the dying minutes.

“We’ve lost or drawn more than five games. The beautiful thing is that we are scoring and yet ‘mother luck’ deserts us.

“But all is not lost, we will fight until the end. We are not thinking about going down to NFD at all.

“On Saturday, we will turn the corner, mark my words,”said Zuma.

On Saturday at 8.15pm the United will host Platinum Stars at Harry Gwala Stadium.

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