Tigers set to pounce on Buffalo
FUTURE Tigers will be going all out to get the win when they lock horns against FC Buffalo in their ABC Motsepe league match at the Ginsberg Field near King William’s Town this afternoon.
They will be looking to bounce back after being knocked out of the Nedbank Cup last weekend by Matta Milan, with coach Asanda Mvalo admitting that being out the Cup race would afford him more time to concentrate on reaching the team's goals in the League.
Although he admitted he was not happy they were outplayed in the preliminary round of the tournament, explaining he still wanted to play more so the team could gain more confidence.
“I'm not demotivated even though we had plans to go far in the tournament because we have to move and pick ourselves up in the league,” said Mvalo.
FC Buffalo were last season's underdogs after they finished on 28 points and 13th on the log while Tigers were the runners-up with 72 points, trailing winners EC Bees by just two points.
“So far in the league we've played two games, won one and lost one, so we are on three points and so far I'm happy with the performance from the boys,” claimed Mvalo.
“Because during our last game against Spear in Bizana we scored three goals, but two of them were denied by the officials who said my players were offside.
“My boys are doing really well for me and there's not much to fix, the problem that we have is the lack of a natural striker. But lucky for us the team's management is working on that.
“If I could get that natural striker into the team we would do wonders but it’s not like I'm scared or worried or anything like that. We just building the team and moulding it to become what we want.”
Mthatha City's director of football Nkush Malgas said they playing a team that was at the summit and the determination they [Tigers] displayed during their pre-season preparations were showing their desire to be winners.
“If you've been studying the log closely on week one it was PE Stars on goal difference, in week two it was us then now on week three it's Tornado and that tells you how serious they are to be champions.”
Malgas said at least they were not facing a team that's a closed book.
“We are doing a lot of opposition analysis and so far they're a side that is very difficult to score against. They've also managed to get more points away from home and our game with them comes just after another away game where they managed a 1-0 win against Pondo Chiefs and that shows you how mentally strong side they are.
“Don't be fooled by their [Tigers] Nedbank Cup exit at the hands of EC Bees two weeks ago. Malgas said his charges were ready for today's game with a clean bill of health.
“We are halfway within our first league cycle. The coaches have been working very hard, trying to come up with ways of how to approach the game.”
Another exciting match today will see Try Again travelling to the Gelvandale Stadium in Port Elizabeth to take on Sibanye.
Try Again chairman Dumisani “Fireman” Busika said with all the challenges the newcomers were faced with in the third-tier league they would not lose focus.
“We want to make sure that we don’t concede so we can try and steal points because we want to do well in our first season so that we can solidify our position in the league,” said Busika.
“The team is faced with a lot of struggles but fortunately for us the Amahlathi Municipality has been our backup system from the word go.
“We rely on our municipality when it comes to transport and catering and going to away matches and with the kind of support we get from them – fighting for our ultimate goal of getting promoted to the National First Division will be possible.”
Other fixtures over the weekend are: Mthatha City v Tornado at Mthatha Stadium; Matta Milan v Butterworth FC at Ngumbela Stadium, Butterworth; Spears v PE Stars at Mqeshwa Sports Fields in Bizana; Lion City v City Lads NU2 Stadium in Motherwell in Port Elizabeth; Highbury v EC Bees at NMMU 2nd Avenue in Port Elizabeth; Future Tigers v FC Buffalo at Ginsberg Field.