These were the sentiments of Team of Choice head coach Fadlu Davids, who watched on at the FNB Stadium on Saturday as his side lost 0-2 to Kaizer Chiefs in one of United’s less impressive performances in what has for the most part been a superb season.
Having played two back to back encounters with league champions Mamelodi Sundowns – a 3-1 Nedbank Cup win and a 2-2 league draw, in the week leading up to the Amakhosi showdown, there was also a danger that there might be an element of fatigue to Maritzburg’s game.
The absence of Siphesihle Ndlovu, Mxolisi Kunene and Richard Ofori through suspension also made it a little tougher against a Chiefs side desperate to bounce back from successive defeats.
Nevertheless, coach Fadlu was not looking for excuses. He credited the Glamour Boys for their performance, and hopes that the defeat will be part of a learning curve for a youthful Maritzburg side who will take part in a first ever cup final in three weeks time when they meet Free State Stars in the 2018 Nedbank Cup final.
“I think Kaizer Chiefs played a very good game. I think they were the better team in all departments. They turned up today and wanted it more. They were clearly the team pushing and going all out.
“You can understand the two intense games against Sundowns took a lot out of the players, but then you still have to control your thinking. But well done to Chiefs, they wanted it and they deserve it fully,” said the Team of Choice tactician.
“I think overall it was a poor performance from our side and a fantastic performance from their side. They fully deserved the three points. Anyway, we’ll have to go back. It’s probably good to have been brought back to earth now to prepare properly for the final.
“Its better to get it (defeat) now rather than in the final. So we have to prepare now for Golden Arrows. Two weeks to refresh, to structure our thinking. The Golden Arrows game and then of course we’ll prepare for the final.”
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