Maritzburg United midfielder Travis Graham says the “Team of Choice” are at a state where they can’t afford to lose a game but also insist it will be key for his team-mates to remain calm in their mission to beat the drop.
The bottom of the table Pietermaritzburg-based top tier outfit are only left with 15 matches which they need to use wisely in their tough mission to keep the side in the money-spinning DStv Premiership.
Failure to do so, they will find themselves campaigning in the less glamorous GladAfrica Championship next season.
On Tuesday, the “Team of Choice” will face equally troubled Black Leopards in a DStv Premiership six-pointer at the Pietermaritzburg’s Harry Gwala Stadium at 5 pm. Leopards are above Maritzburg on the log table and there’s only a three points gap between the two sides, but the visitors have played one more game compared to United.
“We basically have 15 finals ahead of us and we have to win each and every one of those finals. That’s the mindset that we have in the change room right now. One final at a time,” said Graham who only joined United in December.
After 15 matches, United have just nine points to their name while Leopards are on 12 points. A win for the hosts on Tuesday will see them jump to position 15 based on a better goal difference.
Graham is aware that the current situation has brought a lot of pressure to everyone at the club and things are about to get even tougher, but they will have to weather the storm.
“We need to stay calm and we need to understand that it’s not a good situation to be playing a relegation battle, but we shouldn’t panic,” said Graham.
“We need to focus on the task that’s ahead of us and fight for the three points.”
While Leopards come into the clash having won their last league outing against AmaZulu FC, the Ernst Middendorp-coached United are winless in their last five league clashes.
However, the 27-year-old Graham is encouraged by the fact that everyone has been working extremely hard in the team to change the side’s situation.
“The team has been working really hard. Everybody in the team understands that we are going to need everyone’s full effort to see better days and hopefully we can reward ourselves with a win tomorrow [Tuesday],” he said.
DSTV PREMIERSHIP FIXTURES
AmaZulu v SuperSport — 5 pm
Pirates v Celtic — 5 pm
Galaxy v Swallows — 5 pm
Maritzburg v Leopards — 5 pm
Wednesday, 10 March
Chippa v CT City — 3 pm
Arrows v Baroka — 5 pm
NEDBANK CUP FIXTURES