MARITZBURG READY FOR FIRST HOME GAME OF SEASON
24 August 2021
Maritzburg United play their opening home match of the DStv Premiership season on Wednesday when they welcome Sekhukhune United for a first-ever meeting between the two clubs in the top-flight league.
The visitors won the GladAfrica Champions title last term to win promotion. But the Team of Choice are hungry to get off the mark after losing their 2021/22 opener 2-1 away at Lamontville Golden Arrows on Saturday.
It was a match in which coach Ernst Middendorp's charges impressed despite fielding a host of new faces in KwaMashu.
The German's assistant, Maahier Davids, believes they need to build on the performance against Abafana Bes'thende.
"The performance in itself was good, if you look at the numbers in terms of the chances we created," he said.
"The better chances came our way in both halves, there was a lot of good movement in our attacking play, which we are quite happy about. The conditioning of the players was also very good, the only thing was the end result, but many positives to take into the next game.
"There were seven debutants all-in-all for Maritzburg on Saturday. Most of them impressed in what was a solid performance and Davids says they will be looking to build on the communication leading up to the Sekhukhune clash at the Harry Gwala Stadium.
"There isn't much time between the games, so the focus for us will be recovery and fixing some of the wrongs and trying to build on the positives. We need to build the communication in the team regarding how we want to play, look at what we can do better," he explained.
The visitors lost their first game of the season when they went down 1-0 to Chippa United. Nonetheless, Davids expects them to put up a strong challenge in Pietermaritzburg.
He added: "Of course they're a new team in the league, we've been analysing their strengths and weaknesses and exploring what we can exploit. They have some new players, so they have experience and we look forward to trying to get our first points on Wednesday. It's important to pick up points, home or away.
"We're disappointed not to have picked up points in that first game. We felt we deserved more, but we will restart on Wednesday and go full out fighting for three points."