Maritzburg United

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Published: 8 November 2018

SHANDU: WE’LL FIGHT FOR EVERY BALL
 
 
 


Victory over Highlands Park at the Harry Gwala Stadium on Friday night is likely to boil down to which team is prepared to put everything on the line, says Maritzburg United midfielder Bandile Shandu.

   
 

The Team of Choice have suffered narrow defeats in their last two matches; 0-1 against Polokwane City in the league, and more recently, a 1-2 reverse to Bidvest Wits in a Telkom Knockout quarter-final encounter.


“Obviously we were disappointed with the Wits result,” Shandu conceded. “There were positives though from the second half, when we showed a lot of fight, working together as a unit. We attacked as a team, defended as a team, we pushed and showed good character.”


Maritzburg will be looking to take that same spirit which was on display into the clash with the Lions of the North.


It was just last month that United recorded a 2-1 win over Highlands Park in the Cup, but that however will be no guarantee of victory on Friday.


“Highlands Park is a very good side, they fight for every single ball,” Shandu explained. “We need to match that, we need to fight for every single loose ball, every second ball. We’ll get a result by working for one another, fighting for every single ball.


A lack of goals have held the Team of Choice back so far this season, and it’s certainly an area the team are working hard to improve, as Shandu highlights:


“We’ve been working very hard at training on finishing,” he said. “It’s not only the strikers who we must look at to score the goals, it’s the whole team, we all need to do better to score goals. We’re rectifying it at training and hopefully this game we will see the results.

“Every team goes onto the park hoping to get an early goal and that’s what we want to do, because it puts you in a good position and lets you set the tempo of the game, let’s you decide how to play the game out, so it’s important to get an early goal.”

In comparing recent league form, the KZN Capital club have claimed six points from their last five league outings, while Owen Da Gama’s Highlands Park side have picked up seven points in that same period.

In the two previous league meetings between the two clubs, there has been one draw and one win for the Gauteng side; United yet to beat the Lions of the North in the Absa Premiership.

Mothobi Mvala has been Highlands’ main talisman this season with three league goals and will need to be well shackled along with the likes of Peter Shalulile and Moeketsi Sekola, while former Maritzburg skipper Bevan Fransman will line up in defence for the visitors.

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