Anger will be key driver

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AMAZULU are currently holding up the rest of the teams on the PSL log and, according to coach Roger Palmgren, “This makes the players angry and more determined to improve and get the right results.”

Speaking to Weekend Witness ahead of today’s match against Ajax Cape Town at Moses Mabhida Stadium, Palmgren said that his players felt down and sad at their current predicament and this had in turn bred anger and determination — two key elements to AmaZulu possibly bagging the points tonight.

“We need to be more aggressive, especially in defence. I felt we were too soft in this department in last week’s 2-1 loss to Platinum Stars. This week, we have concentrated heavily on this at practice, with ball retention another area of concern for us. We had our final preparation yesterday and I was satisfied we were looking good,” said the coach.

He added that AmaZulu had concentrated on working to their own strengths and weaknesses, while having a good idea of how Ajax play. “We have done our homework and dare I say, have an air of confidence about us heading into this game. Ajax have not had the best of seasons either and are one above us, on goal difference, in the standings. It’s a bottom-of-the-table clash and we want to make sure we savour the fruits of victory come the final whistle. It’s a great opportunity for us to take the points,” he said. Home soil is a definite advantage for the Usuthu and it’s critical they move off the bottom of the table.

He said there were enough excuses from him and the players. “I believe this game could be the long-sought-after turning point of our season.”

Indeed it could. Ajax arrive in Durban having sacked coach Maarten Stekelenburg and perhaps more desperate than the hosts to win. However, Palmgren remains focused on the players, rather than what’s been happening off the field.

“They may not have a head coach right now, but they still have the same seasoned players who know what PSL football is all about. We cannot presume they will be easy pickings.”

For once, Palmgren can select from a full squad, with only Tapuwa Kapini and Nyiko Tshabangu major injury concerns.

“We have broken our goal drought and shown we can score. This has restored some faith among the fans. He pointed out AmaZulu were two points better than this time last year, but still needed to finish off their chances.

Tonight’s match kicks off at 8.15 pm.

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