After a month without competitive action, United mark their Absa Premiership return against the 2016/17 league champions and current log leaders, Wits.
There’s been a lot of work being going on behind the scenes and on the training ground ahead of Saturday’s showdown (6pm kick off), and we bring you coach Fadlu’s thoughts ahead of the match:
BUSY DURING THE BREAK
We’ve had a fantastic four week period where we have been able to work with the new players, putting our principles in, in terms of attack, in terms of defence.
Yannick Zakri is now in his fifth week of training, he should be ready. The competition between him and Andrea Fileccia, which one to start, is definitely a question. They have to fight for their place, see who wants the number nine jersey.
I’m really excited, not only for the new players who have come in, but also the younger players putting up their hands, we have already given two PSL debuts so far this season, and there are three Maritzburg boys we have just signed.
This is the exciting part about Maritzburg United, the younger guys really pushing for a place. We’re not afraid to give them a chance, to throw them in, because if you’re good enough, you’re old enough.
On the downside we had an injury to Keegan Buchanan – it is really a huge blow for us to lose him. It was an incident involving a clash with another player at training. He’s having his scan (on Thursday), but it’s an ACL injury and we expect him to be out for a few months.
THE CLEVER BOYS THREAT
Wits are a team fighting for the league, always. A team who have had a fantastic start. They have signed over 10 players, quality players. You can see their whole front line is new players, Macuphu, Motupa, Dzvukamanja, Domingo, Hotto. Robyn Johannes at the back.
They’ll be challenging for the league for sure at the end of the season. It’s a revamped team, but the Wits style remains the same: with a target-man and how they approach the game.
PLAY WITH NO FEAR
We’ve got to play our game, we can’t fear them. We have to believe in our style, our principles, how we want to approach the game…not be afraid to attack, we are playing at home.
We have got to give them respect, as I said they’ll challenge for the league, but we’ve got to turn it around, I want us to continue our performances and be a bit more aggressive in front of goal to score more, that’s the key.
The time we have had to prepare has really helped the players understand what we want to do. Now the important thing is the execution at the Harry Gwala Stadium.
Siphesihle Ndlovu is suspended, Yazid Atouba (tight muscle) is likely to be out, while Deolin Mekoa (knee concern) will have a late fitness test. Fortune Makaringe, Brian Onyango and Nazeer Allie are available for selection.
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