28 November 2008

Igesund: "we reverted to plan B'

MARITZBURG United ditched trying to play appealing football, and resorted to a plan B for their 2-1 Premier Soccer League victory over Bay United at Woodburn Stadium in midweek, according to coach Gordon Igesund.

The victory was the PMB team’s first in six games and would have come as a relief to the players, coaching staff and management.

“We have to have a plan B,” Igesund said yesterday. “I said to the players that we have been trying too hard to please our supporters by playing the brand of football that they want, and have produced exciting football but without winning the game.

“Against Bay, I wanted the team to play a percentage game, with less risk at the back and more direct going forward. We had to play to win and get the three points, to relieve some of the pressure on the team.”

The win opened a five-point gap between 12th-placed United and the last three teams.

“We have never been in a situation where we have been panicking or the players have felt threatened in any way,” Igesund said.

“We know what our objective is this season, and we are still on track to reach our goals.

“We may be 12th, but we are actually almost in mid-table because there are four teams separated by just two points.

“We weren’t playing well in our last six games. I wasn’t pleased to lose 4-1 to Wits, but that wasn’t a reflection of the game. We went through a period when we were making silly mistakes that cost us heavily.

“I am very relieved and pleased that we finally got a result on Wednesday, and I think the defence has a better understanding now.”

United next play Free State Stars next Saturday, the team that, in a sense, started the rot for the PMB side. A 2-0 Telkom Knockout defeat ended United’s unbeaten run and Igesund will be looking for a more solid performance as his players attempt to regain their confidence ahead of their matches against Orlando Pirates in Durban (December 14) and Mamelodi Sundowns in Pretoria (December 17).

“Like against Bay, the game against Stars is a six-pointer because they are two places below us and we want to keep them from gaining on us, and also make progress on the teams above us.

“I think the last time we played Stars we got a bit complacent because of the rave reviews the team were getting and the hype about the unbeaten start. But I think the players have learnt their lesson.”

Article courtesy of Marc Strydom and the Witness