Atouba is ‘getting better and better’

2017-11-29 11:30
Maritzburg United attacking midfielder Yazid Atouba has yet to open his account for his new club, following his move from DR Congo giants AS Vita, but coach Fadlu Davids says he is satisfied with his contribution to date.

Maritzburg United attacking midfielder Yazid Atouba has yet to open his account for his new club, following his move from DR Congo giants AS Vita, but coach Fadlu Davids says he is satisfied with his contribution to date. (Gallo Images)

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Maritzburg United head coach Fadlu Davids says he has no concerns over the form of attacking midfielder Yazid Atouba despite his underwhelming start to life at the Midlands club.

The Cameroonian international joined the Team of Choice from Democratic Republic of Congo giants AS Vita Club at the start of the 2017/18 season, to give coach Davids options in attacking midfield following the departure of former captain Kurt Lentjies.

The 24-year-old left-winger has made six appearances for the club in all competitions to date, but missed two matches through suspension after picking up a second yellow card on his debut against SuperSport United in the MTN8 semi-finals.

He has yet to find his scoring boots for the struggling Pietermaritzburg outfit, though, who have now gone eight Absa Premiership matches without a win or a goal of their own.

They currently occupy 11th spot on the table, with 11 points from 10 outings.

Nevertheless, Davids sees no reason for concern, saying he was happy with Atouba’s contribution in their goalless stalemate at home against Bidvest Wits over the weekend.

“The positive sign in our last game was Yazid Atouba’s attacking. It’s different coming from another country, when you put a lot on your shoulders to fill the void that Kurt Lentjies left. But he’s settling in well.

“He can only grow from strength to strength while getting used to the environment of the league, the intensity, the physicality and the pace.

“The PSL [Premier Soccer League] is surprisingly fast for these guys who come from countries north of us. So, it’s a positive sign that he’s getting better and better. The team has to improve together — and I believe they can improve.”

The attacking midfielder‚ who has five caps for Cameroon and two goals to his name, has previously been on the books of Chicago Fire in America, as well as Cameroon giants Canon Yaounde and Coton Sport.

Davids, who has said on several occasions that his side are playing better than their results suggest, admitted that their lack of a killer instinct was concerning.

“In my team talk, I always tell them that each and every player going onto the pitch must have the mindset that ‘I’m going to score today [Wednesday]’, besides the goalkeeper, or ‘I’m assisting today [Wednesday]’, to have that goal-orientated mindset and not just playing nice football with no end result,” he said.

Asked whether they had plans to make further additions in the January transfer window, Davids responded: “We have to look deeper into our development first. But, as a coach you’re always looking and analysing. But I believe in the squad we have, though we do need to strengthen it to increase competition to be able to give us that X-factor.

“We lost hugely in Mlondi Dlamini [who died recently]. He was able to unlock teams and create something out of nothing.

“What he had was what Kurt has, but we have to create better attacking structures to suit our players to be able to score goals.

“We can’t be crying about Lentjies leaving and losing Mlondi all the time.”

Maritzburg have a bye-week before travelling to Cape Town City next Tuesday, December 5.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  maritzburg united

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